Protests in Manipur over unsolved murders

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Imphal, May 2 (IANS) Families of victims as well as social activists are not happy over the police department’s failure to solve six murders in Manipur in the last 10 days.

The families said many of them have lost their homes, shops and other valuables, but the government has not extended any help to them.

Many people have been organising road blockades and agitations at several places, and the families were also not claiming the bodies for the last rites as the government has not conceded to their demands.

A. Ngarungshung and M.K. Lungrio, two tribal loggers from Ukhrul district, were shot dead by suspected militants in Chandel district on April 28.

A few days earlier, a driver in the same district was killed, and the assailants are still untraced.

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“We are not claiming the body until the government fulfills our demands. The killers should be brought to book and the bereaved family given some financial solatium,” activist Somi Shimray told reporters.

Deputy Speaker of state assembly Presto Shimray said: “The government is doing everything possible to book the killers. We seek cooperation of the people. Police are also doing their best. The government are doing their best to concede the demands of the people in connection with the two killings.”

The Imphal-Lilong sector of the national highway has been blocked by people protesting the death of a boy named Sagolshem Prasanta, whose body was found hanging from a tree at Lilong, a Muslim majority village.

Activists said the government refused to make available the post-mortem examination report, and they will continue the blockade.

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They suspect that the boy was bludgeoned to death and then the body was hanged up to make it appear like a case of suicide.

Following the lynching of two people who allegedly stole a two-wheeler, there were clashes on April 11 in which 11 houses and shops were torched at Mayang Imphal.

Over 60 people were injured in the clashes.

As the destroyed shops and roadside stalls have not been repaired, the victims said they were unable to earn anything.

“We are facing problems of food and shelter and now our village is being battered by thunderstorms and hailstorms for the past several nights,” a young woman said.

The government had agreed to pay compensation of Rs.5 lakh each to the families of the two lynched youths, but the payment is yet to be made to the next of kin.

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