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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Gadkari asks PM to intervene in Manipur

IANS  New Delhi, December 25, 2012
First Published: 21:45 IST(25/12/2012) | Last Updated: 21:48 IST(25/12/2012)

BJP chief Nitin Gadkari wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging the central government to ask Manipur to take immediate steps to restore normalcy in the state following protests over the police's inability to arrest an NSCN-IM cadre accused of molestation.

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NSCN-IM cadre Livingstone Anal allegedly molested a Manipuri film actress on Dec 18 during a musical concert in Chandel district. He also fired at two people who tried to rescue the actress.

In the letter released Tuesday, Gadkari said that people and media were questioning the role of "National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) and its Lt. Colonel Livingstone Anal."

"The delay in bringing the culprits to book may further aggravate the situation and shall lead to an environment of suspicion," Gadkari said.

The BJP, Gadkari said, feels that strong and immediate action was required by the state government to restore faith of the people in the law and justice delivery mechanism.

"Considering the sensitivity of the matter and the emotive nature of the issues involved, we demand immediate intervention of the government of India with directions to the Manipur government government to take appropriate steps to save the situation from going out of hand," Gadkari said.

Gadkari said he was drawing the prime minister's attention to the "most outrageous incident of molestation" of Manipuri actress Momoko.

Curfew had been clamped in parts of Manipur following violent protests to demand Livingstone's arrest.

The BJP chief said the Dec 18 incident took place in the presence of personnel of Manipur police and Assam Rifles, "who remained mute spectators".

"Local people had to intervene to ensure safety of these actors. Instead of punishing the guilty, the state government has ordered firing on thousands of innocent protesters who were demanding justice," Gadkari wrote in his letter.

He said two people, including a journalist, were shot dead and more than 15 seriously injured in the police firing at Imphal. Over 20 vehicles were burnt.

"Even today the agitation continues with growing number of incidents involving violence indicating the failure of the state government in controlling the situation," Gadkari said.

He added that the Manipur Film Forum and civil society have called for an indefinite strike since Dec 22.

The Manipur government Tuesday announced a cash reward of Rs. 5 lakh for information leading to the arrest of the Naga rebel.

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