IMPHAL, May 10: Family members of the three suspected UGs killed by 23 Assam Rifles reportedly at Chadong Tangkhul village have denied the reported encounter and have alleged that the three were killed by the security personnel during a fake encounter.
The three have been identified as Laishram Nobin alias Khuman, 42 son of Syhamkishore, Ningthoujam Ingocha, 42 son of (L) Pashot both of Tumukhok Awang Leikai under Yairipok PS and Irengbam Roshan alias Bocha, 26 son of Ibomcha of Khagempalli Ningom Leirak.
Speaking to media persons this morning at the RIMS mortuary, Laishram Shyamkishore father of Nobin, who is also the chairman of the Tumukhong village said that his son wanted to surrender before the Assam Rifles and added that he had himself handed over the three including his son to one Major Hanuman of the 23 Assam Rifles post near Nongdam Kuki village on May 9 morning at 7:30am.
He further claimed that he was present while the three had surrendered along with arms before the Major at Hidabi gorge about half a km north of Laphong waiting shed on May 9 at 7:30am.
Elaborating on the issue, the bereaved father said that he had contacted Major Hanuman of 23 Assam Rifles since about a month ago regarding his son’s desire to surrender before the AR.
He added that his son had been a KYKL (MNLT) activist for about ten years now and had desired to return to the mainstream.
He further elaborated that the Major had informed him that he should make his son to surrender before the 2nd in command of the post, as he (the Major) was presently undergoing some military training outside the state. The Major had told him that he will be coming back to the state only after about a month, he added.
He had refuted the proposal informing the Major about his desire to surrender his son only through him (the Major), he claimed.
Meanwhile, the Major turned up at his residence on May 8 and informed him that he had returned on May 6 and wanted to conduct the surrender of Laishram Nobin at the earliest, he added.
He further lamented that he had himself contacted his son on the mobile and informed him about the Major’s proposal to conduct the surrender at the earliest, at which his son also replied in the positive and said he would surrender before the Major the next day on May 9.
Happy with the positive reply from his son, he had informed the Major about his son’s decision the same day, he further elaborated.
The Major however was reluctant and said the surrender should be held during the intervening night of May 8 and 9 and not in daylight, he said before adding that the Major had also instructed him not to tell anyone including his immediate neighbours about the surrender.
When he informed his son about the new proposal of the Major, his son rejected it outright and said there could be some hidden agenda of the AR in conducting the surrender at night and that he would only surrender at daytime.
He further informed the AR Major about Nobin’s desire to surrender in daylight, he further added.
Meanwhile, at around 2am of May 9, the AR Major and his personnel arrive at his residence and took him to a spot which had been previously selected for the surrender and waited there for his son to turn up till 4am, but his son failed to turn up.
He came home after that, he said.
At around 6 am, his son called him and informed that he was at the selected spot and that they should come immediately. He rushed to the AR post and informed the Major about his son’s presence at the selected spot, he said.
Soon after at around 7:30am, his son who had come along with the other two killed alleged militants surrendered before the Major in his presence, the father added.
He also said that after the surrender he was informed by the Major that the Surrenderee cards of the three will be handed over after two days and had further asked him to go home without any hesitation.
After the assurance from the Major he had returned near the AR post and waited there till noon but the AR team and the three surrendered youths failed to turn up, he said.
However, when he saw three Tangkhul villagers coming along the road, he approached them and enquired if they had seen any AR vehicles coming along the road. The villagers replied in the negative and added that they had seen some AR vehicles going towards Chadong Tangkhul village.
He came back after that and heard about an encounter between AR and suspected militants near Chadong Tangkhul village in the evening. However he didn’t pay much heed to the encounter and it was only in the morning today that he went to RIMS mortuary when he realised that his son is dead, he lamented.
The three were reportedly killed during an encounter between militant suspects and a team of the 23 Assam Rifles at Chadong Tangkhul village near Maphou Dam under Litan PS of Ukhrul district at noon of May 9.