|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
7 non-Manipuris shot dead, toll 14
K Anurag | March 18, 2008 13:48 IST
Last Updated: March 18, 2008 18:02 IST
Seven Hindi-speaking persons were shot dead on Tuesday by unidentified militants in Imphal East district, the second such incident in two days. The victims were believed to be from Bihar and were involved in small business of tobacco products.
Three victims were gunned down at Takhel area, and one each was killed at Kangla and Sangomshang areas of the district. The identity of the victims is yet to be ascertained.
Tuesday's incidents occurred in broad daylight even as chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh was chairing a high-level security review meeting in Imphal in the wake of the killing of seven Hindi-speaking persons by militants on Monday night.
Unidentified militants earlier killed seven Hindi-speaking persons at Mayang Imphal Hanglun in Imphal West district on Monday.
In a brutal act of violence on Monday, armed militants in a vehicle first blind-folded the seven victims, tied their hands behind their backs before shooting them in the head from close range, killing them on the spot.
Several militant groups in Manipur, including the United National Liberation Front and Revolutionary People's Front had imposed a ban on Hindi movies and sale of tobacco products in Manipur.
Condemning the killings as 'very unfortunate', the chief minister said the superintendents of police of all districts had been asked to guard non-Manipuri settlements, adding that the identities of killers were not yet known.
He said 42 security check-posts would be set up in and around Imphal to detect the movement of ultras. He appealed to everyone not to cooperate with militants. He said stern action would be taken against anyone habouring ultras.
A defence source in Imphal said that there had been a quiet but intense drive by militants to evict 'non-Manipuri' traders and manual labourers from Manipur for quite some time. Already a large number of panic-stricken non-Manipuris who had been living in the state since before independence, have sold their business and property at throw away prices to leave the state.