Athuan Abonmai was dragged out and bundled into a jeep in presence of policemen
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren, who also holds the home portfolio, on September 24 tendered his “apology for police inaction” over the kidnap and subsequent death of social worker Athuan Abonmai on September 22 in Tamenglong district while he and his ministerial colleagues were inaugurating development projects in Tamenglong and Noney districts.
Addressing a press meet, Mr. Biren said, “On seeing the policemen standing while Abonmei was dragged out and bundled into a waiting jeep, I wondered whether the morale of the police had lowered to such an extent. It was the duty of the police to intervene and save the life of a person.” The government has suspended 16 police officers and personnel for dereliction of duty.
“A high-level inquiry committee having one IGP and two DIGs will look into collusion angle, if any, with the terrorists. As in the case of the battering to death of three persons including one sub-divisional officer in the past, the government will demand an NIA investigation if there are reasonable grounds of suspicion for such a collusion between policemen and terrorists. As the Home Minister and head of the government, I tender my apology to the bereaved family and the people for the cowardly action of killing the public leader”.
Mr. Biren disclosed that combined forces had been rushed to launch combing operations in Tamenglong. The operations will continue till the terrorists are accounted for. Replying to a question, he said that the ceasefire was not extended to Manipur. In the past, Assam Rifles had burned down unauthorised designated camps. The intention of the Manipur government was to stamp out terrorism in all forms and the Union government would be approached for consultation on the ongoing campaign, he said.
Mr. Biren said that the Cabinet will soon take a decision on special ex gratia to be paid to the bereaved family. Besides, the government will provide suitable jobs to family members.
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