The traditional shelter house ‘pumbuk’ located at Hiangtam Lamka which was set up in front of the Churachandpur district community hall campus which houses the symbolic coffins of the nine who died last year during the agitation against the passing of three bills in the state Assembly, was allegedly burned down around 2am today.
The act has been vehemently condemned by the JAC against the three bills, Village Authority and chief of Lamka Thangkhosuanmung Guite among others.
The JAC convened an emergency meeting in the morning and called a total shutdown of Lamka town from 1pm to 6pm.
A team of womenfolk gathered and inspected the site and condemned the incident as ‘unacceptable.’
An aged man Kaigin who lives three blocks away from the ‘pumbuk’ told IFP that he woke up at exactly 2:37am and saw a white gypsy coming out of the area, however, there was no sign of any fire or anything unusual at the time so he returned to bed.
After sometime, he saw a flare up outside and came out and saw the fire, he said.
Meanwhile, locals said there is no question of the fire originating from a short circuit as the socket and the electricity line was intact. They claimed that the fire seems to be meticulously planned as it resulted in the entire structure being razed to the ground.
The JAC said that it views the act as an insult to the sacrifice made by the nine “martyrs” and abhors the devious cowardly act.
Later, in the afternoon the JAC also call a press conference at the Press Club of Churachandpur.
JAC member Ginthang, flanked by other members and chief convenor, said that the JAC find the incident very painful. He said the act is uncustomary, untribal and unchristian act for which the JAC AATB calls a total shutdown.
He said that they have lodged an FIR with the Churachandpur police station FIR no 49 (10) 2916 CCP-PS U/S 435/436/34 IPC.
He said it is the prerogative of the SP Churachandpur to find and book the culprits.In case the SP fails to nab the culprits promptly, the committee will not leave any stone unturned and will not rest until the culprits are arrested by the police under the SP, he said.
He also appealed to the people to make donations for the rebuilding of the ‘pumbuk’ as a befitting answer to arson. The reconstruction he said will commence from October 10.
Meanwhile, the sudden call of bandh led to a mad rush in the New Zenhang Bazar area as the vegetable vendors had a hard time to sell their vegetables which were perishable. Many of them lamented the sudden call of the bandh saying since tomorrow is Sunday which is a holiday their grievances will be doubled.