Out of the five defence village volunteers who were arrested by police on September 16 from Kongba, one has been re-arrested by National Investigation Agency (NIA) while the remaining four were released.
Earlier, all the five defence village volunteers were granted bail by Court of Special Judge, NIA Imphal East.
Following the court order, Athokpam Kajit alias Kishorjit (39), son of A Dhananjoy from Kongba Nongthombam Leikai; Loukrakpam Michael Mangangcha (30), son of L Iboton of Khurai Ahongei; Konthoujam Romojit Meitei (28), son of K Meghajit of Sagolband Sayang; Keisham Johnson (35), son of K Ibomcha and Moirangthem Anand Singh (45), son of late M Achou from Singjamei Sorokhaibam Leikai were released on September 22 late evening. But Moirangthem Anand was allegedly re-arrested by the NIA in connection with another case.
After learning about the court order, families of five arrested village defence volunteers along with large number of people gathered in front of Imphal Police Station from round 4.30 PM onwards and waited for their release. As the size of gathering swelled up, police drove them away by firing few rounds of mock bombs. However, after sometime, people gathered again in lesser number at Babupara to the eastern side of Ist MR.
Wife of Moiranthem Anand, Anu who was among the crowd gathered at Imphal Police Station who broke down after learning about her husband’s re-arrest by NIA.
“I was informed by a police officer that my husband has been taken to Delhi this evening in connection with a case. It is beyond my expectation that my husband will be re-arrested by NIA on the charge that he was once a member of an insurgent group,” Anu lamented.
As Anu was devastated by the news of re-arrest of her husband, she was collapsed for a while.
It may mention that earlier, all the five village defence volunteers were produced before special judge of NIA Imphal East by a team of Imphal East district police along with a prayer for judicial custody remand for smooth investigation of the case. However, defence counsels of all five village defence volunteers filed remand objection along with a prayer for releasing them on bail.
Special PP submitted that the five accused persons are village defence volunteers and they were volunteering to protect villagers at large in Manipur (based on the statements recorded by the police during the course of investigation). It was also admitted that a large number of people including womenfolk have been demanding unconditional release of the five persons declaring 48 hours general strike.
Large numbers of people even thronged police stations demanding release of the village defence volunteers on the ground that they were doing certain activities for the safety and protection of the villagers at large. Saying that no prejudicial activities can be shown as of now during the course of investigation, the Special PP prayed for passing an appropriate order so as to protect the law of the land as well as to protect personal liberty of the accused persons. On the other hand, the defence counsels submitted that all the accused persons are village defence volunteers and they were defending innocent villagers and their villages.
The Court, after hearing the submission of the IO, the Special PP and the defence counsels in length, ordered release of the five village defence volunteers on bail on furnishing PR bond of Rs 50,000 each and one surety of the same amount with the condition that they shall cooperate with the investigation and make themselves available before the investigating authority as and when required. The accused shall not influence prosecution witnesses, they shall not leave the State of Manipur without prior permission of the Court and they should appear before the IO of the case every 15 days as well, said the court order.
During the court proceeding large number of womenfolk gathered in front of entrance gate of Cheirap Court Complex and chanted slogan such as “Long live Manipur”, “Release five village defence volunteers” etc.
Also read : Manipur violence: CM Biren Singh gives ultimatum to groups or individuals to surrender illegal weapons within 15 days
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today