Old High Court building in Imphal damaged in arson attack

Imphal Aug 27 (IANS) Police in Imphal registered a case on Saturday after the old High Court building located within Imphal city, the state capital of Manipur, was badly damaged in a suspected arson attack and many important official documents destroyed.

State Law Minister Irengbam Hemochandra and high officials on Saturday visited the old complex to inspect the charred remains.

Though the old complex is located within two minutes’ drive from the fire brigate office the fire tenders could not be rushed in time on early Saturday, with the result that all the 17 rooms were burned down. Many important official documents which have no copy in the government, 17 computers and other office items were burned to ashes.

The old high court complex is the office of the public prosecutor and government advocate and there are over 50 staff. Despite the fact that this office keeps important documents there was no security arrangement. One peon stays in the complex along with his family to look after the office.

Officials said, “Some of the documents have copies in the new high court complex. However many important documents including service records do not have any other copies.”

There has been no claim of the arson.

On Friday unidentified persons torched the District Transport Office in Thoubal district, only a few metres away from the home of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. Important documents in the office building were destroyed.

Police sources told IANS that though there is no basis as yet police suspect some elements who are agitating. In the past many government buildings were torched to make their voice heard.

A senior official told IANS that the arsonists may now target the school buildings and other remotely located government offices.

An order is being issued to ask low rung employees to sleep in the office premises at night to guard the properties. In the past this arrangement was not fruitful since the arsonists who were armed with lethal weapons made their presence among the handful of employees.

–IANS

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