Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by SPN Editor
Imphal/September 22, 2023 (SPN) | Shocking revelations have emerged from an affidavit submitted by the owner of Churachandpur Gun House where the District police allegedly failed to intervene and apprehend the culprits who were involved in the robberies on May 3.
These alarming revelations have surfaced through an affidavit filed by the gun house owner with the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC).
The Churachandpur gun house, which became a target for thieves, first fell victim to looting on May 3, coinciding with the outbreak of violence in Churachandpur following the Tribal Solidarity March organized by the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM).
The gun house owner, N Ibomcha Singh, asserted that despite repeated appeals to the police to prevent the looting and vandalism of the establishment, law enforcement officers on duty “refused to act.”
Furthermore, it is claimed that the police personnel responsible for security “steadily and ignorantly moved away from the area covered by CCTV, thereby facilitating the looting and ransacking of the gun house.”
The affidavit submitted by N Ibomcha Singh is in response to a police report on the case. Initially, the case was investigated by a Sub-Inspector of Churachandpur Police, contrary to the direction of the MHRC, which had specified that the case should be handled by a non-Kuki, non-Meitei police officer at the rank of SP/Deputy SP. However, following MHRC’s intervention, the case has now been assigned to Karthik Malladi, the current Superintendent of Police for Churachandpur district.
Notably, Manipur police authorities have informed the government that IPS officer Karthik Malladi is the sole non-Kuki and non-Meitei officer in Churachandpur district and has been tasked with investigating the gun house case.
In the aftermath of the May 3 conflict, N Ibomcha, the gun house owner, fled Churachandpur and filed a complaint with the Imphal police station, detailing the theft of 500 guns and numerous rounds of ammunition by Kuki miscreants on May 3. Due to what he perceived as police inaction, he sought the MHRC’s intervention on May 15.
The affidavit submitted to the MHRC revealed that on the day of the incident, N Ibomcha and a salesman were taking refuge in the office of the Superintendent of Police, Churachandpur. Despite their appeals for assistance, the police personnel on duty allegedly “refused to act.” It was reported that “no attempt whatsoever was made” by the police to prevent the looting and destruction of the gun house.
Remarkably, N Ibomcha managed to record CCTV footage of the looting and vandalism using his mobile phone via a Wi-Fi connection, as the internet was still operational at the time.
The footage reportedly showed police personnel conversing with two Kuki miscreants, suspected to be members of the SoO outfit. These police personnel then allegedly moved away from the CCTV-monitored area, allowing the robbery to continue.
The following day, while at the SP’s office, N Ibomcha claimed to witness Kuki individuals still involved in looting and vandalizing the gun house. Despite urging the police personnel on duty to apprehend the miscreants, they allegedly “refused” to take action.
On September 8, the Chairperson of the MHRC, Justice UB Saha, issued several recommendations to the Chief Secretary of the Government of Manipur, including directives to take necessary actions to recover all arms and ammunition stolen from police armories and the Churachandpur Gun House.