Militant leader shot dead in south Manipur

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IMPHAL, Aug 22 (Newmai): Lalminthang Vaiphei, (56), the Commander in Chief (C-in-C) of United Socialist Revolutionary Army (USRA), a militant outfit which is under the Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the government, was shot dead in Churachandpur town in south Manipur this morning by unknown person.

Reports said that Vaiphei was killed near the Zonal Education Office at around 7:30 am. The reports further said that the USRA leader, after having breakfast with his two ‘bodyguards’ from a hotel, was about to leave the place when some gunmen came and shot him. He was rushed to a hospital but the doctors declared ‘brought dead’.

The reasons behind the killing are not known.

Meanwhile, the Kuki Inpi, Manipur (KIM) has ‘strongly’ condemned the killing of the USRA leader and termed it as “senseless and cold blooded”.

The statement signed by Lal Robul Pudaite, General Secretary, KIM said that Lalminthang Vaiphei, (56), s/o (L) Lunsat Vaiphei, C-in-C of the United Socialist Revolutionary Army was murdered by unknown assailant(s) this morning near Zonal Education Office, Hill Town Churachandpur.

While terming the incident as ‘cowardice, barbaric and brutal murder,’ Kuki Inpi Manipur said that such “despicable crime has no place in a civilized society which is a complete violation of one of the basic tenets of our Christian faith”. KIM also said that the “gruesome murder” was unjustifiable under any circumstances and “should be condemned by one and all alike”. KIM further said that the killing was “truly reprehensible, and we hope that the criminal(s) who committed this sickening act are found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law”. The KUki body also said that the “murderer(s) who have perpetrated this heinous crime do not represent a section of our community/our society in any way”.

KIM then said that Lalminthang Vaiphei was a true visionary leader “who dedicated his life to the cause of the people and for the unity of the fraternal groups of people of the Kuki Chin Mizo family”. KIM further said that the USRA leader was a leader who remained true to his calling until the very end.  “His untimely demise had left a huge void; his death is needless to say an irreparable loss for our people,” KIM added.

Hmar People’s Convention, Zomi Human Rights Foundation, Zomi Re-Unification Organisation and Thadou-Kuki Students’ Union, Manipur strongly condemned the inhumane murder of Lalminthang Vaiphei, C-in-C of United Socialist Revolutionary Army (USRA).

The Zomi Human Rights Foundation said that it “strongly abhors such act which disturbed the peaceful environment of the township and the arbitrary deprivation of human life which is against the rule of law”. The Zomi rights group also said that “such inhumane act of rudeness created social injustice and it also vitiated the peace in the society”.

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