Manipur’s Kuki Student’s Organisation (KSO) has called for a 24-hour state-wide general strike starting Thursday midnight in connection with the arrest of executives in the state. The organisation demanded the unconditional release of 10 executives who are under judicial custody in connection with the arson attack on a Catholic school.
On April 25, Sugnu’s St. Joseph School was set on fire by unknown miscreants, destroying school properties worth over Rs 35 lakh.
Initially, the police arrested three of the KSO Gunpi block executives. Later, on May 16, seven executives surrendered to the Superintendent of Police, Kakching district, even as police was on a manhunt for the suspect in the arson attack.
The 10 student leaders are currently under judicial custody.
David L. Gangte, secretary of information of KSO general headquarters, vehemently condemned the continued detention of the KSO Gunpi Block executives who were accused in the arson act.
“Of the 10 executives, three were arrested by the police and seven surrendered themselves to the SP, Kakching district as they reposed their trust in the law and the investigating authority. For 10 days, they underwent thorough interrogation and investigation in the police custody but no substantial evidence was found against them in the case of an act of arson”, said Gangte.
He denounced the authority for not sparing Thangzatet Haokip, the vice president of KSO Gunpi Block, who was seriously ill and suffering from an acute case of jaundice.
The KSO information secretary questioned whether a conspiracy is being hatched to put the blame of arson on the KSO executives.
“It is a fact that the miscreants, who had torched the school, apparently have taken advantage of the closure of the school and clandestinely burnt down the school knowing well that the KSO Gunpi Block executives were there to take the blame. KSO is being made a scapegoat in this act of arson and vilified in the process”, he said.
Stating that KSO will not allow incarceration of its executives on the mere ground of suspicion, he further warned that a sustained agitation will follow after the general strike until the release of the detained executives.