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Eight KRA militants killed in encounters with Assam Rifles

The Imphal Free Press

Manipur, May 4: At least eight cadres of Kuki Revotionary Army, KRA, were killed in two separate encounters with the Assam Rifles since yesterday.

One AK rifle, one M21, a US carbine, one 303 rifle, two hand grenades, two magazines with ammunitions and a Kenwood wireless communication set were recovered from the spots official reports said.

The reports said personnel of the 19 Assam Rifles waylaid a group of around 35 KRA cadres in the fields between Chahmol and Siyang villages of Senapati district under Saikul police station killing seven and injuring another at around 2.15 pm yesterday in a fierce encounter that lasted till 5.30 in the evening.

Speaking to reporters, chief of Siyang village and secretary of Molnom Village Authority stated that around 12 members of KNA who were at a hotel in Molnom were fired upon by a group of 35 cadres of KRA who came from Sanakeithel village side in the Ukhrul district.

The KNA cadres were stated to have retaliated but refrained from firing indiscriminately and retracted towards the Chahmol village after being charged by the KRA.

Intercepting the charging KRA members, personnel of Assam Rifles who were waiting in ambush fired upon the KRA militants killing seven on the spot. One militant was reportedly wounded but taken away by his companions.

The village chief while narrating the incident also appealed to both the UGs and the security personnel to avoid such encounters in future near villages.

He also lamented that innocent villagers were at the receiving end every time the UGs and the security personnel asked them for immediate information of each others’ movements when they move in and out of the village.

Further, the villagers who were working in the fields when the encounter occurred ran helter skelter in all directions, he said.

Later at around 7 pm the seven dead bodies were taken to Twisomyang (Mate) village, Sadar Hills (E), Senapati district where they were kept for the night.

The bodies which are yet to be identified were taken away at around 10 am today by the Assam Rifles personnel.

Meanwhile, one suspected valley based underground cadre who seemed to be a Meitei was killed when personnel of 17 Assam Rifles gunned him down near S Leihang village, around 13 km northwest of Keithelmanbi village under Sapermeina police station at around 3.30 pm today.
The body had been kept at RIMS morgue for identification.

One Kenwood radio set and hand grenades were also recovered, sources said.

53 poll violence cases registered

The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, May 2: Atleast 53 poll violence related cases have been registered by the state police since April 20 till April 26 after complaints were made by respective presiding officers on poll duty and other individuals.

Sources said, the cases were taken up by respective police stations by virtue of the formal complaints made by presiding officers with details of disturbances occurred at their polling stations.

Other cases are registered after complaints were made by private individuals and those related to the cases.

Moreover, some are registered as suo-motto cases after the police received reports of incidents.
The sources also stated that most of the cases are related with snatching, destroying and torching of polling materials while some are related with arson of vehicles utilized for the polls. In other incidents, cases are also registered for kidnapping and attacks by suspected underground activists on the eve and during polls.

Notables among the cases are killing of former DGP, L Jugeshwar, registered by Lamphel police of Imphal west district, shooting at the residence of education (U) minister Dr. T Meinya, INC candidate of the Parliamentary elections on April 22, attack upon family welfare minister Bijoy Koijam on April 26.

Two cases are registered in relation to the shooting at the house of Vidyapati Senjam, general secretary, MPCCI at Keishampat Kangabam Leikai by suspected cadres of the underground RPF and shooting of Konthoujam Sarat Singh, 44, of Konthoujam Lairenbi Leikai. Sarat, who was shot at his right calf near his home by some unidentified gunmen on allegations of campaigning for BJP.

Another three cases were related to the torching of vehicles used in the elections and were registered after presiding officers made formal complaints. The vehicles burnt have registration numbers MN01-0623, MN01K-2005 and MN03-5288.

There were also cases of kidnapping polling personnel and workers of certain political party members by unknown miscreants out of which one of the victims escaped on April 20 in Senapati district.

A case in Chandel district was also registered for injuring a person during an attack upon security personnel by underground activists.

All other remaining cases were connected with snatching and torching of EVMs and polling materials by miscreants in different polling stations.

BJP blasts Charenamei for overturning poll norms

The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, May 2: Frowning the way voters were coerced in the hills, the election campaign management committee, BJP Outer Manipur Parliamentary constituency in a release said that one side was forcibly excluded from participating in the elections.

The press statement signed by Ashinpou Gangmei, convenor said that the BJP has enough documental and circumstantial evidence to prove that Charenamei is propped up by the NSCN (IM). The support that has a sinister design to its tag hijacked the franchise of the people, it said.

The committee have full knowledge about his close connection with the outfit during his days as DFO Ukhrul, it said. Denial of pressmen into polling area from witnessing the truth is an ample proof that the election was rigged, it said.

Further it said his allegations against BJP candidate D Loli Adanee is nothing but the ‘Devil quoting the Bible’.

It is not in the culture of the BJP to indulge in underhand deals with shady organisations to hijack the mandate of the people it said adding that the BJP will enter Parliament honourably and not by polluting the sanctity of the Parliament via sinful and short-cut routes.

To serve his own purpose, Charenamei, independent candidate floated a seasonal organisation of doubtful credentials called Elders Forum Manipur to justify his shadowy actions, it said.

It appealed to the supporters of Charenamei to release all the detainees and the vehicles unharmed. Charenamei is responsible for the acts of his supporters who acted at his behest, it added.

It may be noted that many vehicles and workers of BJP candidate Loli Adanee who were detained before the polls by an underground outfit supporting Mani Charenamei still remain in their custody.

Repolls in Jiribam and Vangai stations postponed indefinitely

The Imphal Free Press

Imphal, Apr 30: Repolls in eight polling stations of Jiribam subdivision and 13 polling stations in Vangai range of Churachandpur district have been postponed indefinitely, according to an order from the CEO.

The order issued today by T Ranjit Singh, joint chief electoral officer stated that repolls in Jiribam and Vangai range scheduled for May 5 have been postponed indefinitely and fresh dates will be decided by the Election Commission of India.

The repolls are however likely to be scheduled in between May 14 and 17, it said.
Counting for Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency will also be rescheduled later, the orders said and directed the ROs and AROs to pay special attention to securing the EVMs during the period.

However counting for Inner Parliamentary Constituency will continue as scheduled and observers for the counting are informed to reach Imphal by May 11 and 12.

Further all private vehicles with RO/AROs in respect of Outer seat are to be released immediately and repoll will be conducted exclusively with government vehicles, the order said.
Meanwhile, reliable sources said that the repolls have been rescheduled on account of reports of the concentration of more than a thousand militants believed to belong to the NSCN-IM in the areas.

Besides, all roads leading to the polling station are in very bad conditions due to the recent rains.
Repairs by the BRTF personnel will take at least a week, according to the sources.

The repolls will be rescheduled at a later date after consultation with ECI, the sources said.
Chief election officer of the state Vijay Chhibber will leave for New Delhi on May 2 for consultations with ECI officials on matters of rescheduling the repolls.

The sources further stated that at least three battalions of security forces will be required to flush out the area of the cadres so that the repolls can be held free and fair, the sources added.

Polls in Vangai range and Jiribam rescheduled for May 17

The Imphal Free Press

Manipur, May 4: Voting in 13 polling stations in Vangai range of Churachandpur district and eight polling stations in Jiribam subdivision of Imphal east district, which could not be held during the first phase of the ongoing Parliamentary elections on April 20, or on repoll day on April 20, will be finally conducted on May 17, according to sources.

Counting for the first phase elections is also likely to be held from May 19, the sources said.
The decision for repolling and counting had been taken in the meeting between state CEO, Vijay Chhibber and the authorities of the ECI in New Delhi today, it said adding that an official order in this regard will be issued only after the CEO has returned back to Imphal.

It also said that there is a possibility of conducting a mass operation in the said areas of the polling stations prior to the repolling.

Mention may also be made that repolls for these stations were postponed indefinitely after receiving reports of presence of many cadres of an underground organisation in their vicinity.
The sorry condition of the roads leading to these polling stations also impeded the early conduct of the repolls.

However, the state in coordination with Central forces are likely to conduct a major operation to flush out the UGs while temporary arrangements will be made for transportation of election materials, personnel and security for the repolls, the sources said.The BRTF personnel posted at Silchar are currently taking up the repair works for the roads.

It also said an additional force of 20 companies of BSF from Dimapur, Silchar and Shillong who were on poll duty will arrive at Jiribam on May 8 to join the 10 companies BSF personnel already stationed at Jiribam.

State forces comprising of IRB and Manipur police commandos will also assist the Central forces for the operation.

The state government has already posted IGP Y Joykumar at Jiribam and had instructed C Doungel, CO, 3rd IRB to make himself available at Jiribam to assist the IGP.

Meanwhile, the lone polling station in Tamenglong district where repolls could not be completed on April 30 due to an EVM defect will be held on May 5.

Final preparation has been made for elections in 54/13 Thangal polling station in the district where there is total of 811 electors, sources added.