The Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF) of Manipur has slammed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and National Investigation Agency (NIA) for arresting 7 individuals including two women and two minors in a connection to abduction and murder of missing students.
In a strongly worded statement made by the ITLF via a press note, the forum condemned the actions of the investigating agencies. "There were no women police officers and no juvenile police unit, as required by law when the secret operation was undertaken in a case related to the disappearance of two Meitei students. The arrests come less than a week after the appearance of photos that seem to show the dead bodies of the two students" stated the press note by ITLF.
Raising doubts on the CBI for selective haste in arresting the individuals, the ITLF stated in their press note, "If the CBI can act with such swiftness, why has it not arrested anyone in more heinous cases, like the rape and murder of two tribal girls in Imphal, the burning of a 7-year-old tribal boy along with his mother and aunt, the torture and beheading of a tribal youth and so many other acts of atrocities against tribals? And what about the thousands of weapons and lakhs of ammunition looted (distributed?) in the Imphal Valley? Does the central government think violence and shooting can stop without the retrieval of these weapons?
The ITLF also slammed Chief Minister N Biren Singh for selectively targeting tribals in connection with the missing students case following his announcement of "main culprits" into the case have been arrested.
The tribal forum has also condemned the NIA's arrest of a teacher in a "transnational conspiracy" involving "terror groups" from Myanmar and Bangladesh. Seiminlum Gangte worked as a private teacher in Kwakta, a border area separating tribal and Meitei settlements. Whether or not he had any role in a blast which injured three persons (for which he was arrested), it seems outlandish that a teacher with no criminal record suddenly had the ability and connections to develop links to international terror networks, that too without traveling abroad even once".
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