Imphal: The chief of P. Muolding Village has clarified that the face-off between villagers of Chingmang Meitei and P. Moulding on October 4, 2020 was just a trivial misunderstanding between them during a football match in P. Muolding playground. However, according to the chief’s statement, the matter was turned into a major controversy due to certain irresponsible citizens twisting the tale with vested interests and communal tone and circulating them on various social media platforms.
In a press release from P. Muolding Village Chief signed by its Secretary Avung Khongsai, an earnest request was made for ‘every sober, responsible citizen to dig into the matter, find out the truth and resolve it to maintain peace and fraternity in the land.’
According to the version presented by P Moulding’s chief, on October 04, 2020, which was a Sunday, on the pretext of consolidating the already settled terms, some Chingmang youths summoned two representatives of the other group and took them to a quiet location near Keystone Higher Secondary School and had them thrashed severely. The event turned violent with the gradual involvement of several people from both the two communities.
A negotiation was initiated the very same night at Chingmang Community Hall in presence of the second O.C, Sekmai Police, authorities/leaders of both parties, family members and other stakeholders. Unfortunately, the meeting failed to yield productive results as the Chingmang authorities refused to produce the true culprits to sign the necessary papers. The second round of turmoil erupted when a woman from Chingmang laid hand on a woman from P Moulding. It was observed that some Chingmang youths standing at the hall lent their hands to their fellow villager, said the statement.
It was supposedly followed by stone pelting and catapulting with the Chingmang villagers taking position in the Community Hall which is adjacent to Ima Kounu Lairembi shrine while the group from P. Muolding was stationed on the road above the shrine.
“A hole or two on the roof of the shrine, prima facie was not a deliberate attack on religious lines … those items published in several newspapers relating to vandalizing of the said shrine was a mere fabrication to evoke communal tension and violence,” it added mentioning that had such dirty intention was in their mind, the Ingourok Mahadev shrine which stands for decades, would have been an issue of controversy every now and then.
The release further said that the situation was ultimately brought under control by the Imphal West SP and his team. Injured persons namely Jangminlun Simte, S/o Henthang Simte, Haomonlal Kipgen, S/o (L) Seingam Kipgen, and Lungunlen Chongloi, S/o (L) Lhunkhokai Chongloi were immediately rushed to Raj Medicity Hospital by the police personnel. The following day, on October 5, 2020 around 4.40 PM, a team from AMUCO and subsequently on Tuesday, October 06, 2020 at 04:30 pm, a team from COCOMI, two prominent valley organizations paid visits to P. Muolding village to assess the situation in order to bring peace between the two parties. After thorough discussion, they maintained that the matter must be resolved in a peaceful manner and requested all not to unnecessarily resort to rushing to the media. They affirmed that they would work for this cause and try to bring all the concern stakeholders to the table for a peaceful negotiation, to which the villagers of P Moulding abided firmly and eagerly waited for that opportune moment.
We fervently appealed the various CSO’s particularly the AMUCO and COCOMI to issue a press release in order to nullify the communal minds of the public at large and initiate necessary steps to bring about peace and harmony as was resolved in the meeting held on October 5 and 6, 2020. Having laid down the facts and truth about the incident, it is crystal clear that the matter was just a mere misunderstanding of some underage youths and calling forth of indefinite general strike from October 14, 2020 by Yeholmee Kanba Lup relating to this incident is highly condemned and opposed, the press release stated.