Posted 03 September 2011, by Staff (The Sangai Express), E-Pao!, e-pao.net
Source: The Sangai Express Imphal, September 03 2011: Four earth mover machines and a loaded truck were set blaze at different places in Ukhrul district in the last 24 hours.
According to information culled from the spot, the earth mover machines were engaged in the development work of the road connecting Yairipok Chandrakhong to Kasom Khullen.
The earth mover machines were set ablaze by some unidentified armed persons at T Natjang village under Kasom Khullen sub-division at about 6.30 pm yesterday.
Three persons in camouflage dress armed with AK rifles came to the spot and asked if the Mohori or any representative of the owner was present there.
Notably, T Natjang village is located 15 Kms away from Kasom Khullen.
All three of them spoke Manipuri and they brought along two plastic bottles containing petrol.
As the labourers stationed there replied neither the Mohori nor any representative of the owner was present there, the armed persons started burning rags of clothes after soaking them in petrol.
They also forced the labourers at gun point to siphon diesel from the earth mover machines to a plastic bucket of 20 litres capacity.
The same diesel was used in setting ablaze the earth mover machines.
Operator’s cabin of one excavator was destroyed beyond redemption in the act of arson.
The hydraulic pipe lines as well as wiring of the machinery were also reduced to cinders though the engine remained unaffected.
Operator’s cabins of two other bull dozers were also destroyed together with their engines.
All the four machines were parked by the road side.
On seeing the raging flames, the villagers rushed to the spot but they could not proceed any further as the armed persons opened three rounds of shot in the air.
The villagers too opened fire using their shotgun.
However, they could join the rescue work only after the armed persons left the spot.
Meanwhile, the Kasom Khullen Sub-Division Development Association and the Tangkhul Naga Aze Longphang have strongly condemned the act of arson.
Chairman of the association Ninghor Jajo appealed to all UG groups to desist from such acts of disturbance against development programmes.
Notably, there was a case of abducting labourer in the same area on July 15 this year.
Such acts of disturbance committed by UG groups in their own interests is highly condemnable, Jajo said.
Since the time Kasom Khullen sub-division was created in 1972, the same road has been lying in pathetic condition.
It was only recently that the State Government initiated development works on the road connecting Yairipok Chandrakhong to Kasom Khullen.
Subversive activities committed when certain development programmes are taking shape after long years of waiting have anguished the people of Kasom Khullen sub-division, Ninghor Jajo said.
On receiving news about the arson, 15 Assam Rifles swooped into the area and conducted search operation, said one officer of 15 AR to a team of media persons today.
On the other hand, suspected supporters of the UNC sponsored blockade set afire a truck (AS-03AC/2425) at Kajiphung near Lower Hundung about 7 Kms South of Ukhrul police station at about 10 pm yesterday.
The truck was transporting tobacco products.