Manipur students killing: Congress demands CM’s resignation, condemns 'brute force' against protestors

Condemning the killings, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said, it was high time that Manipur Chief Minister be sacked.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  28 Sep 2023 2:42 AM GMT
Manipur students killing: Congress demands CM’s resignation, condemns brute force against protestors
Representational Image. 

New Delhi: Congress today condemned the brutal use of force against the students in Manipur, who were protesting against the killing of two students.

Over 50 people, mostly students, were injured after protests broke out in several parts of Manipur against the murder of two Meitei students.

Phijam Hemjit and Hijam Linthoingambi, whose photographs surfaced recently after they were killed during the ongoing ethnic violence in the state.

The party expressed deep condolences and solidarity with the families of the two slain students and demanded that their killers be brought to justice with exemplary punishment.

Condemning the killings, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge today said, it was high time that Manipur Chief Minister be sacked.

“For 147 days, people of Manipur are suffering, but PM Modi does not have time to visit the state”, Kharge wrote on the X (earlier Twitter), adding, “the horrific images of students being targeted in this violence has once again shocked the entire nation”.

He observed it is now apparent that violence against women and children was weaponized in this strife. “The beautiful state of Manipur has been turned into a battlefield, all because of the BJP!”, he remarked.

Kharge demanded it is “high time, PM Modi sacks BJP's incompetent Manipur Chief Minister. This would be the first step to control any further turmoil”.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here today, Congress Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha, Gaurav Gogoi asked Prime Minister Narender Modi how long will it take him to wake up to the crisis in the troubled state.

Gogoi condemned the Prime Minister for showing his back to the people of Manipur and the country. He pointed out that even after a lapse of five months, the PM had not bothered to visit Manipur. So much so, he added, the PM does not seem to have even spoken to the Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh on the matter as the media reports suggest that the CM has been interacting and communicating with the union Home Minister only.

The Congress leader said it has been the collective failure of both the union Home Minister and the Manipur, Chief Minister as they have failed to restore peace in the state. He asked the Prime Minister to step in and take the responsibility. He demanded that the Manipur CM should be removed before anything else as he had completely failed.

Congress Spokesperson observed that nobody was safe in Manipur whether the students, women, army men, or even local police officers. He said, there was a virtual split in the state and it was like the situation along the Line of Control with buffer zones between the two communities.

Gogoi said the students who should be holding copies and pens in their hands are holding guns against each other as Manipur has been divided between two groups of people. He blamed the politics of hatred practiced and spread by the BJP and the RSS and warned that what was happening in Manipur today, can happen anywhere in the rest of the country. He called for an end to the politics of hatred.

The Congress LS Deputy Leader reiterated the demand that the Prime Minister must sack the Manipur Chief Minister, visit there, and send an all-party delegation to the state to have a spot assessment of the situation there.

Observing that Manipur does not exist for Modi, Gogoi said, it is high time that the Prime Minister comes out of his self-glorification mode and takes responsibility. He said he has not been elected the Prime Minister for merely campaigning and flagging off new trains but to ensure the safety and security of people across the country.

CBI teams reach Imphal

A CBI team led by Special Director Ajay Bhatnagar reached Imphal Wednesday afternoon to investigate the "kidnapping and killing" of two students days after they went missing. Photos of the bodies of the two students -- Phijam Hemjit (20) and Hijam Linthoingambi (17) -- who were missing since July 6, were shared widely on social media on Monday, sparking fresh rounds of protests in the state.

The focus of the agency will be identifying the scene of crime, retrieve the bodies besides and nail the perpetrators, the sources said. The team will meet senior police and government officials and go through local intelligence about the tragic incident, they said.

The state government in consultation with the home ministry referred the matter to the CBI which immediately dispatched a team of officials led by agency's second in command Bhatanagar to probe the crime.

Another senior officer, Joint Director Ghanshyam Upadhyay, who is camping in Imphal, also joined the team on arrival, the sources said.

The team comprises officers who have expertise in special crime, crime scene recreation, interrogation and technical surveillance. It will also have experts from the CBI's elite Central Forensic Science Laboratory, the sources said.

One of the two photos purportedly showed the students with two armed men and the other was of two bodies. Police had previously said the whereabouts of the two were not known and their mobile phones were found switched off.

The last location of their mobile phones was traced to Lamdan, near the winter flower tourist spot in Churachandpur district, police had said.

In a post on X, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had said on Tuesday: "In light of the distressing news that emerged yesterday regarding the tragic demise of the missing students, I want to assure the people of the state that both the state and central government are closely working together to nab the perpetrators." He said the presence of the CBI officers in the state "underscores the commitment of our authorities to swiftly resolve this matter".

Security personnel have been put on alert and additional measures taken to prevent any incident following the photos of the deceased students going viral, a senior officer said.

The government has assured people that "swift and decisive action will be taken against all those involved in the kidnapping and killing of Phijam Hemjit and Hijam Linthoingambi".

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