IMPHAL, February 9: Villagers of Kasom sub-division in Ukhrul today took out a protest rally against the February 5 blast in the sub division which killed a civilian while injuring another.
The 15-km long rally started from Nambashi Khullen and after passing through several villages concluded at the Khunthak ground. The rally which was organised by the Dardouy Phungren Shanao long (Leimashen Chingshang Women Union) and other civil organisations. The rally was attended mostly by women.
The bomb blast was followed by a fierce gun-fight between UG groups the next day at Nambashi during which one of the UGs died. The sudden worsening of the law and order situation has put a fear psychosis among the people, asserted a villager during the rally.
A social worker, Julia Shanglai who also participated in the rally expressed that the safety of the villagers must be top priority. She said the civil societies of the hills must link up with those from the valley and agitate against such violence.
The civil societies should also unite in demanding compensation and ex-gratia to the dead and the injured, she said before demanding the State government to strengthen the presence of State police in the area to protect the people and to improve the health care facilities in the area.
President of the Nambashi area women union Shimreila Keishing said the sub-division lies in the border area with Myanmar and is adorned by small villages.
The death of two persons in two days have shocked the people of the area, she said and further appealed to all concerned not to repeat such violence in the area.
She further sought clarification from those concerned at the earliest.
Stating that all her repeated attempts to contact the local MLA Victor Keishing have been futile without any response from the side of the MLA, she continued that there are several voices of unity between the hills and the valley people, however, whenever the hill people are in agony there is no one to take care of them.
Concerned with the incidents, she said the villagers had informed the nearby Assam Rifles post, however, they have also failed to act positively to the appeal.
Shimreila further lamented the State Chief Minister and the MLAs for failing to take stock of the situation and said the area has been neglected like there is no government.
Meanwhile, in an astounding development, while the protestors were gathering at the Khunthak ground after the rally, a man shouted that another bomb was found inside a pressure cooker from along road which the protestors had taken a few moments ago. The bomb was covered by the pressure cooker and was connected to a set of batteries by a wire.
Soon enough the police present in the vicinity barricaded the area and then contacted the State bomb squad, however, till the filling of this report there were no news of the bomb squad arriving.