Churachandpur, Sep 23 : The union Special Secretary, Internal Security, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ashok Prasad visited Churachandpur today to take stock of the situation in the beleaguered township.
Prasad a former DGP of J&K was given a warm reception by the Churachandpur public at Kangvai where he was given a memorandum by the Chief's association of the district.
Around 10 am the central emissary reached the Lamka Public ground packed with womenfolk in black dress.
The JAC Against Anti-Tribal Bills and the Hmar Innpui, Kuki Inpi and Zomi Council together gave a separate memorandum to the Special Secretary while the women`s joint committee presented him with nine traditional shawls symbolising the nine who lay dead for the cause.
The JAC Chief Convenor, Mangchinkhup Hauzel, making known the demand of the committee and of the people, said that the JAC and the people are happy to see an emissary of the Union Ministry of Home.
The crowd in the meantime shouted slogan like “We want separate administration”, `Welcome the Centre Govt”, `Long live Pu Ashok Prasad” etc.
After presenting the memorandum, Prasad in his speech said that he feels and shares the pain that the people are going through, particularly the families of the victims.
“I congratulate the perseverance and effort of the women, the JAC and elders. I appeal to the older people to continue guiding us in the future too,” he said and asked the people to show now that they can find a solution.
Later LB Sona, the leader of the three apexs house presented a memorandum on behalf of the Joint apex body, the Zomi Council, Kuki Inpi and Hmar Innpui.
Sona also said that they were pleased to see the central official since no one from the state government, including politicians, bureaucrats and other dignitaries have bothered to take the trouble to make any spot assessments.
“The stare government tried to portray the incident as a law and order problem only although what is being witnessed is a political problem, and therefore we request the central government to intervene,” Sona further said.
The special secretary later visited the morgue where the nine martyr are kept. He was greeted by emotional scenes from the families of the victims. They told him that they had surrendered their deads to the tribal people for they died for the tribal cause.
In a very touching moment one girl in wailed inconsolably saying in English “I have only one brother. Why did they do this to me?”
After consoling her the official went to meet the JAC and later talked to the press where he said he was sent by the Union Home Ministry to make a direct assessment of the situation here and will apprise the central government.
He also appealed for the dead bodies to be buried and put to rest at the earliest.
“I am convince that this is not just an internal problem but more than that”, Prasad said and further added that he will try his best to do the right thing and report to the centre but the immediate need was to try to resolve the issue and find a solution to the problem.
In regards to the punishment of the culprits for the nine people killed, the official said we must await the enquiry report so action can be taken.
On the question of live bullets being used, he said he will take up the issue to the Manipur State Government.