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Ten innocent civilians including a 62 years old woman were shot dead by the personnel of the 8th Assam Rifles aftermaths of a bomb attack on an AR convoy at Malom Makha Leikai.
At least 42 persons, including four women, were Hospitalized after they were brutally assaulted by Assam Rifles troops during combing operations mounted in the Malom area after the bomb attack on an AR convoy.
The two days curfew imposed by the Government of Manipur had paralyzed life almost completely in Imphal city. Life came to a screeching halt in the capital city and police personnel were stationed at all strategic point of the capital city. Commercial centers downed shutters and Imphal city resembled a ghost town.
On 2 November 2000, at around 3:20 pm ten innocent civilians including a 62 year old woman were shot dead by personnel of the Assam Rifles at Malom Makha Leikai Boroi Makhong following a bomb attack on an AR convoy along the Tiddim road. Following the explosion, the AR troops got down from their vehicles and began firing towards people who were running for cover. Eight persons, including a middle-aged woman, were killed at a set of bus stop at Malom Makha Leikai, while two others died near a culvert inside the village.
THE DECEASE ARE:
A statement issued by the Assam Rifles in connection with the incident said simultaneously with the bomb explosion, the AR troops were fired on by unidentified underground cadres as a result of which two AR personnel sustained gunshot injuries. In the exchange of fire that followed, the statement continued, nine persons were killed. It said these included two scooter-borne Underground's who were seen fleeing from the site, as well as a group of people running in the opposite direction. The statement further claimed that one M-16 rifle and an AK-47 magazine were recovered from the site, as well as a buried wire of about 150 meters length and two scooters which it said had been used by the UGs.
People's of Manipur, however, strongly denied the official version of the incident and said that the Assam Rifles personnel opened indiscriminate fire killing ten civilians after the explosion. Following the incident, the entire area was cordoned off and traffic along the Tiddim Road blocked at Changangei and Utlou by AR troops and massive search operations launched in and around Malom Makha Leikai, Malom Tulihal, Malom Tuliyaima, Mekola, and surrounding villages. While AR personnel refused to let reporters enter the cordoned off area, a few managed to slip in, but these were also not allowed to leave the main road. Police arrived 30 minutes after the incident, but they too were not allowed to enter the area for some time. Local people, who spoke over the telephone to IFP said there was heavy presence of troops in the area till late tonight, without any civil police personnel or women security forces personnel.
One Ngangom Dayabati Devi, 38, of Mekola Maning Leikai was hit by a bullet at the forehead while sitting outside her house. At least 42 persons, including four women, were Hospitalized after they were brutally assaulted by Assam rifles troops during combing operations mounted in the Malom area after the bomb attack on an AR convoy. According to the victims, following the bomb attack and the firing, AR personnel entered the locality in a very angry mood and began assaulting all the male residents of the area they could find. With the commencement of the organized search operations in the area, the female populace and the minors were called out from their homes and detained on the Tiddim road from 7 pm till midnight. The male civilians were initially detained inside their homes before gathered along the local village roads.
Khaidem Amutombi Singh, who was among those seriously injured, said two AR personnel entered his house, and one of them took a swipe at him with the barrel of an AK-47, but missed as he ducked. He was however hit in the head by butt of an SLR and collapsed. His three brothers were also injured after being assaulted by the AR personnel. Soibam Maimu Devi, 40 suffered hand fracture after being beaten by the AR. Among the worst victims are Sagolshem Ibochaobi, 57, who sustained injuries at back, waist and leg after he was kicked and hit with gunbutts. His daughter, Ibetombi Devi, who was suffering from high fever, was also beaten by the troops. Laishram Keso, 75, was beaten up at his fish farm at Malom Loukhong and sustained injuries, at back and waist. Laishram Dhiren, 28, Thokchom Mani, and Laishram Thoiba, 31, who were harvesting grain at a nearby paddy field was also the target of the AR troops. They were reportedly made to kneel on the road and then kicked and hit with sticks and gunbutts. Others seriously injured include Th. Manihar, 35, Th Thoiba, Ch Jayanta, Ch Chakritombi, and Waikhom Bimol. Laishram ongbi Thoibi, 52, said an AR personnel put a gun to her forehead, and demanded the whereabouts of the UGs. Local sources add that after the Indian Reserve Battalion and the Assam Rifles completed their combing operations last night, the villagers were sent back to their homes at around midnight. The injured were later evacuated to hospital. During another search operation on the next morning at around 4 am, Pukhrambam Ibocha, 27 was severely beaten up, sustaining injuries at face, chest and waist. The Chief Minister of Manipur Mr. Wahengbam Nipamacha's own security Officer, Laishram Shamo, of Tulihal Malom Mayai Leikai, was among those beaten by the rampaging AR troops. Shamo, who sustained injuries at buttock, left leg, and right arm said he was kicked and hit with gunbutts by the troops even after he disclosed his identity. ( Surprised !)
The local Meira Paibis of Malom Tulihal, while condemning the incident, have demanded the removal of the 8th AR from Manipur and called for the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the state. They also demanded compensation for the families of the deceased, as well as the injured persons. The Meira Paibi also said that the CO of 8th AR, after calling the Meira Paibi and student leaders of the area, had threatened to kill one and all if the attacks on the troops recurred.
The state capital and its immediate environs were turned into a ghost town on Friday after curfew was imposed in the Greater Imphal area from 5 am in anticipation of public unrest following the massacre. Both the district magistrates of Imphal east and Imphal west was sued order early morning confining people to their homes within the areas of Greater Imphal falling within their respective jurisdictions. Markets and shops remained closed, and most roads were deserted in the whole of greater Imphal with massive deployment of Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), Manipur Rifles and Police, but there were reports of the people being assaulted by the police for breaking curfew. Search operations also continued for the second day. In the meantime, many members of the public resented the sudden imposition of curfew without any prior announcement, calling it unnecessary harassment of the public.
For many the nightmare is yet to be over and they are still nursing injuries inflicted by the security personnel as they went violent after the bomb attack. The physical injuries apart, the people who had to bear the brunt of the security forces are still gripped by a fear psychosis and it would take more than medical care to wipe off the horrible memory. Many who bore the brunt of the Assam Rifles atrocities have fled their homes and are presently taking shelter at other places. Many people including old and young were injured in the assault by the AR. Most of them were forced to lay on ground with their stomach and slide on the rough road, residents said.
A senior reporter, S, Dhaneshwar working for Manipuri daily 'Naharolgi Thoudang' was assaulted by the escort personnel of city police OC during the early hours of the curfew at Keishampat junction at around 7:45 am when he was heading to collect the curfew pass from DC office when he was stopped by the escort party. Though he produced his identity card and identified himself as pressman and the purpose of his errands the personnel mocked him saying 'What pressman, what news' and started hitting him with stick on his hand, face and back thereafter.
The political leaders and various voluntary organizations in the State have strongly condemned the killing of ten innocent civilians including a national award winner youth by the personnel of the 8th Assam Rifles and beating up of 42 people black and blue following abortive bomb attack on an AR convoy on Thursday. The People of Manipur charging the Nipamacha Ministry for their inability to control the security forces and paramilitary forces deployed in the State and also accused the Government of imposing curfew both in Imphal West and East districts which as disturbing normal life and depriving the daily wage-earners of their income for two days.
Taking serious offense over the killing of the civilians, the convener of the Committee on Human Rights, Manipur (COHR) Dr. L. Paradeshi has strongly condemned the incident and severely castigated the government for imposing a curfew in an attempt to cover up the incident, instead of punishing the guilty personnel. COHR also charged the State Government with remaining a mute spectator to the atrocities committed by the security forces in Manipur. Regarding the imposition of curfew, Mr. Pradeshi said, "It only showed the lack of concern of the authority to safeguard the democratic rights of the people".
During a Press Conference, advocate and human rights activists Khaidem Mani expressed that the Malom Massacre of 10 innocent people is not an unfortunate incident but a deliberate act of the paramilitary forces grossly misusing and abusing the Armed Forces Special Act, 1958 The right activities hitting out sternly at the government and its forces maintaining that the Indian Penal Code and even the AFSPA do not have a provision that empowers the killing of innocent people. Through retaliating in self-defence is another thing, the case of Malom is totally different, he said.
The Manipur Human Rights Commission today took up a suo moto reference case in connection with 2 November incidence where 8th AR personnel gunned down at Malom Makha Leikai, and the commission has decided to refer the case to National Human Rights Commission.
The All Manipur United Clubs Organization (AMUKO) has strongly condemned the cold-blooded killing of the civilians and assault of 50 others by the Assam Rifles and irresponsible attitude of the state Government towards the incidence. It further condemned the government for imposing two day curfew after the deliberate massacre of innocent civilians by security forces.
The Joint Committee of the Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup and National Identity Protection Committee and the Polei Leimarol Meira Paibi, Apunba Manipur, in separate press releases issued here bitterly condemned the cold-blooded shooting to death of around 10 innocent civilians by the personnel of the 8th Assam Rifles after exploded a bomb. The releases said Malom shooting incident bears a crystal clear testimony to the fat that Indian security forces regard the people of Manipur as a whole as their prime enemy.
They also said human rights violations are more perpetrated in Manipur by the Indian security forces than in Pakistan which is under stratocratic rule. "With their unrestrained barbaric activities, the Indian security forces have been utterly denying the Manipuri people their right to live", the release resented adding the curfew imposed by the government can not subdue the outrage of the truth-loving people nor it can prevent the developments taking place at other countries from happening here. The releases further reminded the people that it is high time they rose up for the safety of the future generations from the hands of Indian security forces.
The All Manipur Women's Social Reformation & Development Samaj has also strongly condemned the massacre of 10 innocent civilians in cold blood by the personnel of the 8th Assam Rifles and the subsequent imposition of curfew in Greater Imphal and Bishnupur districts. A release issued by the general secretary of the Samaj, Indumani Devi, said it is cowardice of the Indian security forces who seek vengeance upon innocent and defenseless civilians for any attack on them by their "counterparts" (insurgents) after failing to encounter them.
The Manipur Student Federation (MSF) said due to the unrestrained perpetration of atrocities on innocent civilians by Indian security forces in the name of counter-insurgency, the hope for life in the state has been gradually diminishing. They also condemned the government for its abrupt imposition of curfew in Greater Imphal and Bishnupur with effect for early Friday morning to prevent public uprising against the inhuman crime committed by its own security forces. It inquired whether the persons in power can remain quite when their family members are thus indiscriminately killed by the security forces. The release said that the Indian security forces have not come to protect the lives of innocent civilians in the state is amply evident from Malom massacre. And it also reminded the people that it is high time they took up collective preparations to get away from the hands of the 'monsters' who are out to eliminate them.
The All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) asked how long the people should remain as silent spectators when the Army is killing unarmed and innocent peoples recurrently. It is because of the series of such heartrending incidents as Malom's that the AMSU has been demanding removal of the Armed forces Special Power Act". They also said now it is urgent to take collective resolutions of the people to encounter those killers of innocent civilians.
The students wing Manipur State Students' Forum (MSSF), Kangleipak Muslim Chanura Development Organisation, Manipur Pari Apunba Lup (MAPALUP) have also strongly condemned the incident and called upon the authority concerned to take immediate action against the guilty personnel.
LMS Law College Student's Union termed the killing as violation of all forms of Law in the country and an attack on the very core of Democracy. Contenting that even the Supreme Court would try to avoid awarding capital punishment, a statement of the union said there is no provision for killing of innocent people without trial even under the dreaded Armed Forces Special Power Act 1958.
IN VIEW OF THE COUNTLESS CASES OF COLD-BLOODED MASSACRES OF INNOCENT CITIZENS BY GOVERNMENT SECURITY FORCES IN THE STATE, A 28 YEAR OLD WOMAN, IROM SHARMILA DEVI, HAS RESORTED TO INDEFINITE HUNGER STRIKE FROM 5th NOVEMBER AS SHE SAID, THERE IS NO MEANING TO LIFE IN THE STATE. SHE SAID SHE WOULD FAST UNTO DEATH UNLESS ALL BLACK LAWS IN FORCE IN MANIPUR ARE REMOVED.
Relatives of the victims killed in the Malom firing and others including women, who were coming in a truck and two buses to collect the bodies of five of the ten civilians killed in the firing, sustained injuries when police resorted to baton charge at Tulihal today. The police also fired tear gas shells to disperse the large crowd at Malom. However, they were later allowed to pass the area to collect the dead bodies from Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) morgue. Five bodies had already been collected. The relatives agreed to accept the bodies after the Government assured that a magisterial inquiry would be instituted into the incident and ex-gratia would be paid to the next kin of the victims. The five bodies had been lying at RIMS mortuary since Thursday as the relatives refused to accept them. As per understanding between the police and the Joint Action Committee formed against the killing to take the five bodies at about 12 am, the people came in one Truck and two buses. However, police blocked them near the Assam Rifles post at Tulihal. Police then resorted to lathi (stick) charge to disperse the crowd and lobbed tear gas shells. Later relatives were allowed to proceed in two vehicles. The dead bodies were ultimately taken to Malom at about 4 pm. A large number of people came out to receive the bodies, which were taken to their respective residences.
The Mourners carried banners and placards declaring 'Stop brutal treatment', 'We are humans not animals, 'AR civil killers, 'Punish the killers' 'maril yaodraba thabakna meecham prajada awaba piganu' (stop troubling the public with cowardly actions). Tension continued to grip the area. Residents decided to stay indoors even after the lifting of the curfew.
Revolutionary People's Front, Manipur strongly condemns the brutality of the Assam Rifles, of killing the innocent civilians and giving harassment and torture to the villagers. RPF express deep sorrow and pays respects to our departed countrymen and joins the victim's families in their bereavement.
Today's Malom Massacre manifest the real nature of the IOF (Indian Occupation Forces) deployed in Manipur, showing bravery against the unarmed civilians and their beastly and cowardice act. It reminds the unforgettable memory of the heinous crimes and brutal act of Indian Occupation Forces against the People of Manipur. It recalls the incident of Operation Blue Bird, Heirangoithong Massacre, 1984; Oinam Village Massacre, 1987; Tera Keithel Massacre, 1993; RMC (now RIMS) Massacre, 1995; Tonsen Lamkhai Massacre, 1999 etc. Now we are facing the Malom Massacre and who knows what will be the next?
The only means to save our people and our homeland is to take up arms and fight for independence of our People and our Nation from the Colonial regime of India.
and Maintained by the Department of Communication & Publicity,
Revolutionary People's Front, Manipur 1998-2002