Tangkhul villages denounce assassination attempt

Four Tangkhul village heads and a civil organization have joined force in condemning the assassination attempt yesterday on MLA Wungnaoshang Keishing and have conveyed condolences to the families of seven deceased, including a civilian. The injured are also wished speedy recovery.
“We strongly condemn the act of ambush on Wungnaoshang Keishing by unidentified gunmen”, said a joint statement issued by Lovingson Jajo, chairman, Thoyee village, MH Wungreishung, headman, Riha village, Kapangmi Jajo, chairman, Riha village, Z Shimdhar, headman, Ramrei village, Yaomi Kasar, headman, Chadong village.
The joint statement expressed grief and pain of the families of the diseased while also expressing “shock” on the “unwanted incident” and has strongly appealed to any armed group not to repeat such an “ugly” incident in the area. It has demanded adequate compensations for the deceased families and the injured from the State government. Similarly, Centre for Organization Research and Education (CORE) has expressed its deepest agony upon receiving information that Wungnaoshang Keishing and his security escort team have come under armed ambush from unidentified gunmen.
“The reported ambush was clearly an attempt to assassinate Mr Keishing,” said a statement from CORE.  It is a matter of great fortune that the MLA himself survived the deadly ambush. However, the dead of six security staffs and two civilians and the injury of four security staffs and one civilian is a deeply lamentable matter, it said.
Adding that the beleaguered MLA has been in a vulnerable position lately for spearheading the demand for the carving out of full-fledged Phungyar district from the present Ukhrul district of Manipur, it said, “under the vitiated circumstance the attempt to assassinate Mr Keishing leaves many questions unanswered.”
Urging that the government of Manipur must institute a judicial inquiry under a sitting high court judge of CBI inquiry into the ambush, CORE said that the government must adequately compensate the deceased families and the injured persons. It has also conveyed its deepest condolences to the surviving families and wishes a speedy recovery to those who are injured.   
Significantly, Wungnaoshang Keishing has been aggressively pushing the agenda for the creation of full-fledged Phungyar district by bi-furcating the present Ukhrul district. Recently, He drew flaks from Naga apex body United Naga Council (UNC) for attempting to “derail” the demand for “Alternative Arrangement” for Nagas in Manipur. The MLA was asked to revoke the resolution for the demand of the district which he had apparently submitted to the government of the State but he steadfastly stood his ground saying that he was only obliging the wishes of the people who have been victims of uneven development in the district. Interestingly, Wungnaoshang Keishing ran for the last MLA election with the backing and patronage of United Naga Council (UNC).   
Ambush toll rises to eight in Manipur

Imphal, April 16 (PTI): The number of people killed when rebels ambushed an Independent MLA and the security personnel escorting him in Ukhrul district rose to eight on Saturday with another person succumbing to his injuries, officials said. Vaorei Keishin (65), who had accompanied Independent MLA W Keishing to the function after which he was attacked, died this morning at the hospital here. Unidentified militants had yesterday opened fire at the convoy of Keishing, killing seven persons including six security personnel and injuring six others including the MLA who suffered injuries on his hand at Riha village in Ukhrul district bordering Myanmar, sources said. Keishing has been demanding creation of a new district of Phungyar out of the Naga-majority Ukhrul district but some Naga social organisations have strongly opposed to it. “I do not know who attacked my convoy and but I regret that some civilians and innocent security guards of mine were killed in the attack by some anti-social elements,” Keishing told the local media this morning.