Governor condemns killings, curfew on in Manipur

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Imphal, Mar 20 (UNI) Manipur Governor S S Sidhu has expressed anguish over the killing of 15 migrant workers in the state during the past three days even as the dusk-to-dawn curfew continued to remain in force throughout the state for the third day today.

Terming the spurt of violence against non-Manipuris in the state ''heinous and cowardly acts'', the Governor asked Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh to ensure that adequate security measures were taken up to check the recurrence of such incidents as well as arrest the miscreants responsible for committing the crimes.

Police said hundreds of non-Manipuris were given shelter in various police stations throughout the state.

The Chief Minister said 42 additional police outposts had been set up in the greater Imphal area.

Police have not yet been able to ascertain who were responsible for the killings.

The prohibitory orders restricting movement of people with vehicles from 1800 hours to 0500 hours in all four districts continued to remain in force for the third consecutive day.

No untoward incident has so far been reported today from any area, police added.

Meanwhile, NGOs, political parties as well as militant organisations across the state condemned the killings.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA), the armed wing of the Revolutionary People's Front (RPF), expressed condemnation against the killings.

The RPF stated that it was ''fighting against the Government of India and not against Indians,'' adding that it was not against the non-locals who earned their livelihood by doing manual work.

The All Manipur United Clubs' Organisation (Amuco), Manipur Forward Youth Front, All Manipur Bar Association, Threatened Indigenous Peoples' Society (TIPS), North East Support Centre and Helpline, Zeliangrong Students' Union (Barak Valley), political parties, student bodies and other civil society organisations also raised their voice against the victimisation of outsiders.

The Chief Minister, ruling Congress MLAs and Opposition members of the Manipur Assembly also condemned the killings.

The Chief Minister appealed to the people to maintain calm and assured that ex-gratia would be provided to the next of kin of the victims.

As many as 15 migrant workers from various parts of the country were shot dead by unknown miscreants in different parts of the state during the past three days.

A non-Manipuri was shot dead at Kumbi, Bishenpur district, by unidentified assailants yesterday, while on March 18 five people were shot dead at Imphal East and two at Thoubal district and on March 17, seven people were killed at Imphal West.

The violence against outsiders had spread to all the four valley districts of Manipur -- Imphal West, Imphal East, Thoubal and Bishenpur.

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