Imphal, Sep.26 : It looks as if the militants in Manipur cannot differentiate between those who try to control them and the ones who are just devoted to the service of common man.
The recent victim of militants belonging to the banned outfit Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) was Manipur's rural bank. The militants forced the bank to close down for an indefinite period while making the hapless staff of the bank go for a sit in demonstration against widespread militant activities.
Manipur Rural Bank has 18 branches throughout the state. It works for the uplift of the rural masses.
The militants demanded a sum of one million rupees as ransom money from the bank and threatened the bank's staff with dire consequences if they failed to pay up.
The staff turned furious and expressed their anguish in Keishampat asking the militants to withdraw their demand. B.Bimal Singh, Branch Manager, Porompat MRB Branch, said: "For the last few months some underground groups were demanding money from our bank. Earlier, we requested many times through media not to demand any monetary demand from us. We are a very small bank and this is the only Rural Bank in Manipur and we are serving the poor people. And the under grounds have demanded a huge sum of money."
L. JoyKumar Singh, Employee, MRB, said: "We are sending a message to them that we are fed up of such type of demands and please let us work in peace for the sake of the people." Manipur Rural Bank one of the premier banks of Manipur, and has more than 30,000 depositors.It is concerned with the welfare of the rural masses and most of its depositors are from rural areas of the state.
Raghumani Singh, Branch Manager, MRB Kongba Bazaar, said: "Actually we are serving the poor people of my locality. So, such kind of demand we never expected. If such kind of demand is made very frequently in the presence of our local people than it will affect our business to a greater extent. So, I would like to appeal anybody any organization not to make any sort of demand like this."
This is not the first instance that the militants have targeted a bank. Earlier this year, the United Bank of India in Imphal as well as some other banks in other parts of Manipur were under attack by the militants.
Even the UBI was forced to close down for indefinite period following a hefty monetary demand.
No doubt those who claim to fight for the interests of the people of the state are the real road blocks in the development of the resource rich state.