MPCC demands tracing of missing VDF jawan, JAC blocks road
MPCC demands tracing of missing VDF jawan, JAC blocks road

TMB Report/Correspondent

Imphal: The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has demanded the government to trace missing VDF personnel Ningombam Premananda of Thoubal Okram and hand over huim to the aggrieved family.

Addressing reporters at Congress Bhawan here on Wednesday, MPCC Vice-President L Tilotama expressed dissatisfaction over the government’s failure to trace the missing VDF personnel Ningombam Premananda of

Thoubal Okram who went to destroy poppy plantation on January 20 under the State Government’s ‘War on Drugs’ campaign.

She said that 10 days had passed since the VDF personnel went missing but the government failed to take up immediate steps to track down the missing personnel. She questioned how the VDF personnel went missing from the police team and what steps have been taken up by the government to find the missing personnel.

She said that the ongoing ‘War on Drugs’ is a commendable action and the Congress party also supports it but it is questionable whether it is just an eyewash or the government is waging the war in a serious manner to save the people.

The disappearance of a VDF personnel during a poppy destruction drive will demoralise police and cause a feeling of uncertainty and apprehension in the minds of cops. The disappearance of uniformed VDF personnel on duty cannot be taken lightly. The government should track him immediately and hand him over to the family soon, she said.

She said that if the government has a will, tracing of the missing VDF will not be an uphill task.

Meanwhile, demanding the government to track down the missing VDF personnel, the JAC formed in connection with the missing of the VDF personnel along with local clubs blocked the Asian Highway 102 (Imphal-Moreh) at Thoubal Okram and other places along the highway.

The road block was suspended following a meeting between the JAC representatives and Works Minister K Govindas.

The whereabouts of Premananda who went to destroy poppy cultivation in the hill track of Urantop under Chakpikarong PS in Chandel district on January 21 is yet to be ascertained.

The police team on the poppy destruction mission was spending the night there on January 21 and Premananda went missing. He left home on January 16 for his duty, a source said.

His whereabouts is yet to be ascertained despite a hectic search carried out by a combined team of State police force, Assam Rifles, VDF, Narcotics and the Forest Department.

A public meeting held on January 29 organised by the JAC decided to launch an agitation if the government fails to trace missing Premananda by January 31.

With the deadline being over, the JAC blocked the Asian Highway 102 at Thoubal Okram since early morning and prevented all vehicular movement along the highway except for

essential services.

The locals also blocked the IVR stretch from Thoubal Ningombam to Thoubal Okram, Kiyam Babu Keithel. Members of Youth Sporting Club, Khundongbam Leikai, Kiyam Siphai also endorsed the stir of the JAC.

Later in the evening, representatives of the JAC led by its Convenor N.Wanglen held talks with Works Minister K Govindas at the latter’s office chamber at Old Secretariat. Khangabok AC MLA O.Surjakumar, social worker L. Basanta and Additional SP (Ops) O. Wangkhomba also attended the meeting.

During the meeting, Wanglen apprised the Minister about the aspirations and demands of the JAC and the victim’s family. The Minister after a patient hearing assured that the government will intensify the search operation using additional forces starting from Thursday. Following the assurance, the JAC suspended the stir at 3.30 pm.