January 10, 2022 3:13:06 pm
A BJP worker close to a Manipur minister, along with his cousin, was gunned down at Samurou in Imphal West district Sunday night in what was termed by Chief Minister N Biren Singh as political violence in the poll-bound Northeast state.
Police sources said that an unknown assailant shot Abujam John, 57, who was close to Agriculture Minister O Lukhoi, and his cousin Abujam Sashikanta, a havildar in the India Reserve Battalion, near John’s house around 10 pm at Samurou Bazaar. They succumbed to injuries in different hospitals in Imphal, the sources added.
John’s wife, Bimo, said her husband had gone out after having dinner and didn’t return home for a some time. When she went out looking for him, Bimo said, she saw John chatting with Sashikanta. Bimo said that a few moments later, she saw a man approach the duo. She claimed to have heard gunshots later.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, who visited the deceased men’s families, condemned the incident and termed it an attack on BJP workers and said those responsible would not be spared.
And minister Lukhoi called the incident an act of cowardice. “Whatever their faults, they should be given a chance to mend their ways. Killing is not the solution,” he said.
Irate locals of Samurou briefly disrupted traffic on the highway passing through the area by burning tyres on the road in protest against the killings.
Political violence has increased in the Northeast state slated to go to the polls on February 27 and March 3. A college student was shot dead by alleged BJP workers in the Heirok Thoubal district in December last year.