After two days of the kidnapping and killing of Athuan Abonmai, advisor and former president of Zeliangrong Baudi (Assam-Manipur-Nagaland) on September 22, Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on September 24 acknowledged security lapses during his visit to Tamenglong and apologised to the people of the state in connection with the death of Athuan Abonmai. He also said that the state government will not spare anyone involved in the killing of Abonmai, regardless of their political background. The state government had on September 23 suspended 16 security personnel in connection with the case.
Speaking to media persons at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat in Imphal on September 24, Nongthombam Biren said a massive combined forces operation has been launched to hunt down the perpetrators in Tamenglong district. The operation will continue until the culprits are arrested, reports added.
Acknowledging security lapses and condemning the silent act of the state forces when Athuan Abonmai was abducted by suspected militants from the venue of the programme of the chief minister’s visit to Tamenglong, the chief minister, as also the home minister, apologised to the people of Manipur.
Asserting that interrogation of the suspended police personnel will be taken up separately by a strong probe committee headed by the IG (Intelligence) K Radhashyam, he said necessary legal action will be taken against those police personnel if they are found having any collusion with the people involved in the abduction and killing of Athuan Abonmai. If any groups in peace talk with the Centre are found involved in the hideous crime, the case will be handed over to NIA as in the murder case of killing SDO Kishan along with his two staff by the NSCN (IM), reports said.
Athuan Abonmai was abducted by unidentified persons from the high security zone at Pologround of Tamenglong HQ in front of security personnel, while the programme of the CM’s visit to the district was underway at the venue. His dead body was found with bullet injuries and injury marks of striking with sledge hammer on head and other parts of his body in the evening on the same day near Pallong village under Tamei police station, in Tamei sub-division, Tamenglong district, reports said.
Six from Manipur clear Civil Services Exam
In all six candidates from Manipur have cleared the coveted civil services examination 2020.
The six are Parikshit Thoudam-60, Waikhom Nydia-180, Heikrujam Prasanjeet-578, Kshetrimayum Deepi Chanu-621, Hatchinghoi Haokip-673, Lourembam Nelson Mangangcha-757 are among the total 761 candidates who have cleared the exam.
ZUF points finger at NSCN(IM)
Imphal, September 24 2021: The Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) has accused the NSCN (IM) of killing Athuan Abonmai and appealed the Central and State Governments to constitute a high-level investigation agency and book the culprits.
In a statement on Friday, secretary of ZUF Hozam Thaimei said that it condemns the “cold-blooded and inhuman murder” of Athuan Abonmai, former president and advisor of Zeliangrong Baudi of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland (AMN) on September 22 at Pallong village, some kilometres away from Tamenglong district headquarters by NSCN (IM) .
The ZUF alleged that “the diabolic character of the NSCN (IM) has once again resurfaced where tall and uncompromising leaders of different communities were massacred on several occasions at different times” .
Several CSOs condemn murder
Several organisations in Manipur have strongly condemned the killing of Athuan Abonmai, adviser and former president of Zeliangrong Baudi (Assam-Manipur-Nagaland), after he was abducted by some unidentified persons on September 22 from the high security zone of Pologround in Tamenglong HQ while the programme of Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren’s visit to the district was underway. They have demanded the state government to book the culprits at the earliest.
As many as 15 CSOs in Manipur – AMKIL, UPF, NIPCO, UPACCO, Mapi-Council, CADA, Nongpok Leingak, NIMPAL, ANUL, Thoubal Ima, Nupi Samaj, Tammi-Chingmi, EECHAL, THANIL and UMO on September 24 decided to support the JAC demand for justice against the brutal killing of Athuan Abonmai.
Other community and civil bodies also condemn the killing of leader who stood and worked for coexistence, peace, unity and integrity of Manipur and demand justice.
“This was not just a murder of a leader but an attack on our community and human race as a whole,” the Liangmai Naga Katimai Ruangdi (LNKR) stated in a release on September 23. This shows the blatant misuse of power and the disregard of life by those wielding guns, LNKR stated, adding, guns and violence and murder is never the way to silence a voice.
Other Liangmai Naga civil organisations issued a joint release and appealed to the law enforcing agencies to take immediate action so as to prevent recurrence of such ‘disgraceful acts’ in the future.
The Liangmai Naga Council, Eastern Zone, Eastern Liangmai Chief Chairman Association and the Ahangruak Chief Chairman Association urged the people to respect human lives and called for delivering justice to the killing of Athuan Abonmai.
The Zeliangrong Students’ Union Manipur (ZSUM) said in a release said his tireless contribution and efforts for the people of Zeliangrong will remain forever in the history of Zeliangrong, it stated. The ZSUM salutes the indomitable moral spirit for laying down his life for the cause of the people. Such vicious acts of the opponent will never succeed, it added.
The Zeliangrong Students Union Delhi and the Zeliangrong Welfare Association Delhi issued a joint statement condemning the “murder” of Abonmai and stated: “This day, the 22nd of September, 2021 will be remembered as a black-letter day by the Zeliangrong and will be written on the purple page of the Zeliangrong history. This horrific villainous act suspected to be committed by NSCN (IM) who works for the greater cause of the Nagas impugned the principles and motive of the organization. Such anarchic action is jarring and every right citizen should condemn such barbaric act of assassination”.
The Joint Tribes Council (JTC) on September 23 stated that it strongly condemned the killing of former Zeliangrong Baudi (AMN) president Athuan Abonmai after he was abducted by some unknown persons on September 22.
The JTC stated in a statement that it had earlier appealed for his safe and early release, but his body was recovered by the villagers from a forest area near Pallong village of Tamei sub-division, Tamenglong district.
The Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF) on September 23 condemning the killing of Athuan Abonmai demanded that the reason behind the act (murder) may be established and justice delivered to the bereaved family and relatives. The loss is deeply felt and lamented by Zeliangrong and its kindred people, ZUF stated.
The United Committee Manipur (UCM) demanded the state government to bring out the facts behind the death of Athuan Abonmai.
Athuan Abonmai was a leader who played a vital role to maintain the unity of the state and the brotherhood of different communities living in Manipur, UCM stated.
While strongly condemning the killing, the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) stated that he was a harbinger of peace and harmony among the people of Manipur and his death is an irreparable loss not only to his family members and the Zeliangrong community but also to the people of Manipur.
The Kuki National Organisation (KNO) also strongly condemned the cowardly act of assassination that ended the life of Athuan Abonmai and said, “It is a great shame that NSCN (IM), which seeks justice in the name of Christ, should act in such a contradictory and cowardly manner against a civilian”.
Manipur Congress Calls for Judicial Probe
The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) strongly condemned the killing of Athuan Abonmai, advisor and former president Zeliangrong Baudi (AMN) and demanded immediate punishment against the police personnel who were on duty on the day he was allegedly abducted near Apollo Ground, Tamenglong district HQ.
“The district magistrate and superintendent of police of the district must be sacked within 24 hours,” demanded MPCC.
MPCC also demanded to conduct judicial enquiry by not less than a sitting high court judge within 24 hours, followed by genuine explanation from the DGP of Manipur the reason for not being able to prevent the abduction of Athuan Abonmai in broad daylight from the government event in full public glare.
Merger Agreement Impact Discussed
A One-Day Discussion on Manipur Merger Agreement 1949: Impact on the Future of Manipur, was held on the day of signing of the agreement, September 21 at the Multipurpose Hall of AMSU HQ, Dhanamanjari University Campus. The discussion was jointly organised by All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL) and United People’s Front (UPF).
On September 21, 1949 Maharaja Boddhachandra signed Merger Agreement with the Union of India forcefully and as a result of the agreement, Manipur merged with the Indian Union as a Part C State with effect from October 15, 1949, which is a very heartbroken incident and the day was declared as Black Day in the history of the State which is observed every year in the State, she recounted.
The Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), 1958 is a weapon to suppress the people’s movements of demanding the restoration of pre-merger status of Manipur, alleged AMKIL president in-charge Lourembam Nganbi.
Prof. Chongtham Priyoranjan of Economics Department of Manipur University, Prof. R K Narendra, HOD of Biostatistics of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) and Dr. Arambam Noni, Assistant Professor of Political Science of DM College of Arts were resource persons of the discussion.
The function was attended by president of AMSU Haobijam Chalamba Meitei and president of UPF Nongthombam Rupachandra as presidium members, reports added.
HAC Recommends Deferring ADC Recruitments
The Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of Manipur Legislative Assembly has unanimously resolved to recommend the state government for deferring the recruitment process in the six autonomous district councils (ADC) till the elections for the same are held and constituted.
Reports said in the meeting held on September 21, the committee expressed strong exception in the manner in which the state government has been allegedly bypassing the rule of law as laid down in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Manipur Legislative Assembly. The government has intentionally refused to place before the HAC the proposed sectoral plan allocation for all developmental activities to be taken up in the hill areas of Manipur before finalisation, it alleged.
It stated that the committee resolved and decided that as mandated by law, the state government shall forthwith ensure that all sectoral plans before allocation to the respective departments for any and all development and economic activities within the total plan allocation for the hill areas of Manipur be placed before the committee.
Nupi Keithel Opening Okayed
The Manipur government has announced that night curfew from 8.30 pm to 4 am will be enforced strictly for 30 days till October 21 while declaring that three Nupi Keithels and temporary markets in Paona and Thangal Bazar are allowed to open with subject to preparation of schedule for the vendors as per a prescribed procedure.
Markets except the above may open with 50 per cent capacity and the district administration concerned ensuring adequate physical distance between them and all of them wear masks, stated the order issued by chief secretary and chairman, State Executive Committee Rajesh Kumar on September 21.
The order stated that restaurants and cafes are allowed to open from 10 am to 8 pm, subject to ensuring Covid Appropriate Behaviour and ensuring that the customers inside the eating area do not exceed 50 per cent of the capacity of the restaurants and cafes.
It stated that public transport buses are allowed to ply with passengers not exceeding 50 per cent capacity of the bus. All passengers, drivers and helpers shall wear masks and Police and district administration shall ensure that the capacity limit is complied with, it added.
Social gatherings and feasts are not permitted yet as per the order. The deputy commissioners shall issue necessary orders and superintendence of Police shall take necessary action to implement orders strictly, it added.
Former Minister Leitanthem Tomba Passed Away
Former minister Leitanthem Tomba also known as EO Tomba or Thoubal Tomba who represented Thoubal Assembly Constituency for four terms and also held the post of Sericulture, Labour and Employment, Social Welfare minister as well as Education minister passed away at his residence in Thoubal bazaar after battling in illness on September 23. He was 88.
Late Leitanthem Tomba earlier held the post of extension officer of the state government before joining politics. In 1984, he won the election from Janata Party and became the MLA of Thoubal assembly constituency. Afterwards, he won election in 1995 from MPP and from MSCP in 2000, and yet again won in 2002 from Federal Party Manipur to become a cabinet minister.
‘Naba Chakthekpi’ is No More
Choudhurimayum Nabachandra Sharma, popularly known as Naba Chakthekpi from Brahmapur Nahabam, Imphal East, passed away on September 21 morning after battling the COVID-19 for 45 days at JNIMS Hospital. He is survived by his wife, son and five daughters.
Manipur State Film Development Society, MSFDS, where he worked in a release described him as a multi-talented and resourceful individual, always doing his duties with a smile and charming everyone who came in contact with him with his sense of humour.
Nabachandra is also among the pioneers of playback singing in Sumang Leela, successfully establishing himself a renowned playback singer, singing in female voice. Some of the songs he sang are still remembered for their charming melody and unique rendition like Nangbu angangba khurou mapal asida khoiningna tongba uraktra; Ngasi Loktak khongban asida e-nou nou-e eigi wakhal, said MSFDS in a press release.
In honour of the departed soul, a two-minute silence was observed, followed by a candlelight vigil at the Monolith of Manipuri Cinema at MSFDS complex, Palace Compound. With Nabachandra’s passing, MSFDS has lost altogether three of its staff to Covid-19, it conveyed.