The All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) has imposed a blockade for 100-hours along the National Highway-37 (Imphal-Jiribam road) from Saturday midnight onwards demanding the arrest of NSCN-IM cadres who were allegedly involved in the assault and extortion on a team of musicians led by the students’ body on Monday at Nungba. AMSU, who led the musician team, had served an ultimatum of 72 hours to Manipur Government to arrest and punish the culprits involved in the incident. As the ultimatum expired today and the government was unable to make the arrest, the student’s body imposed the total blockade of the NH-37.
As a mark of protest, AMSU volunteers also burnt effigies of NSCN-IM leader Th. Muivah, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh near DM College.
“We strongly denounce the state and central leader for allowing the Naga militant group to harass people in Manipur,” said the students while demanding that the Naga rebel is flushed out from Manipur.
A team of 37 members mostly musicians were returning from Silchar, Assam on September 3 evening after attending a function. The NSCN-IM assaulted the general secretary of AMSU and also extorted Rs. 5000 from the group when the team reportedly stopped at Nungba Bazar for dinner. Manjit Sarangthem, president AMSU said people travelling along the highway are often harassed by NSCN-IM. It is very clear that travelling along the highway is not safe, he said.
The NSCN-IM on Wednesday denying its involvement said that it arrested two individuals who were found extorting on the highway posing as the cadres of the outfits. However, the outfit did not name the arrested individuals.
“We cannot accept the clarification made by the NSCN-IM that none of its members were involved in the Nungba incident. Even though they claimed to have apprehended two of imposters who were involved in the incident they did not identify who they really are and hand over them to the government, said Manjit.
The AMSU president also further demanded the government to remove all the camps of the NSCN-IM in the districts of Tamenglong, Senpati, Ukhrul, Chandel etc.
“It is high time for the government to show its existence by taking up steps against the militant group”, he added.
While a police case has been lodged in connection with the incident, Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh on Wednesday said the state government would never remain as a mute spectator to anti-social activities.