Ukhrul: Naga organisations in Manipur, including the Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) and the United Naga Council (UNC) and several outside Manipur condemned the alleged physical and mental assault on four female Ukhrul residents at Imphal by an “unruly mob”.

Speaking to media persons, TNL President David K Shimray said the incident at Kwakeithel near the Asian Hospital was “unfortunate and uncalled for.”

According to the TNL president, the four women from the Tangkhul Naga tribe were assaulted on their way to the airport. The tribal leader said the TNL has vowed to settle the issue through customary law and practice of the Tangkhul community.

The apex body of the Tangkhul Nagas also condemned and rejected the press statement issued by the In-charge of Central Control Room, 1st MR Banquet Hall, Manipur, AK Jhalajit Singh, which denied the incident as “fake news”.

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The UNC, which is the apex Naga body in Manipur, condemned the “ill-conceived motive” of an organisation for dragging the name of the UNC in a press briefing after the incident took place, and without the knowledge and consent of the Council.

Various other Naga CSOs, including the Tangkhul Katamnao Long (TKS), Tangkhul Welfare Society Mumbai, Tangkhul Katamnao Long Delhi, Tangkhul Women’s League Delhi, Tangkhul Student’s Union Shillong, Tangkhul Naga Welfare Society Bengaluru also condemned the incident.

These tribal organisations urged the state authorities to book the perpetrators and take necessary and corrective steps to ensure the protection of the public.

The TKS, the apex student body of the Tangkhul Nagas, in a press note identified the four women as Lotus R Shimray, Somipen R Shimray, Ramsowon R Shimray, and Philathing Khapai.

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The student body said the four women bound for Mumbai were “dragged down by pulling their hair” and “mercilessly assaulted on the street with lethal weapons”.

Adding salt to the wound, TKS said that Singh “shamelessly” denied the incident without any verification. They slammed the “unbecoming” behaviour of the senior government officials and demanded a public apology for the “irresponsible act at the earliest”.

Following severe condemnation from all sides, on May 25, a notice issued by the state government and signed by Singh acknowledged that the news was not fake, and the “Central Control room had kept prepared a rebuttal press note taking it as a rumour. However, on further verification of the incident, the press note was never officially issued.”

Also read: One killed in fresh violence in strife-torn Manipur

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