The police in Manipur’s Ukhrul town arrest four persons for ‘beheading’ a statue of Mahatma Gandhi last Sunday. The hunt for a fifth involved in the act is on.
We arrested the four including a village defence force (VDF) personnel Monday night,” said Ukhrul district police chief K Kabib. The VDF man, identified a S Ngamapam, 22, was dismissed from his service immediately he added.
The others arrested were Ngayaimi Mana, 20, Ringmiyo Mawon, 19 and Shimi Haorei, 24. All were produced before the chief judicial magistrate in Ukhrul on Tuesday.
Kabib said the quartet confessed to vandalizing the Gandhi statue under the influence of alcohol.
The statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi Chowk is opposite Ukhrul Town Hall and some 50 metres from the superintendent of police’s office as well as the Police Reserve Line. The news of Gandhi’s ‘beheading’ spread fast, and the local tribal body was quick to condemn the ‘shameless act’.
Ukhrul is dominated by Nagas, particularly Tangkhuls, who have a high regard for Mahatma Gandhi for recognizing in 1947 the right of the Nagas to live independently.