Imphal, December 19 2012: Film fraternity of Manipur took to the streets in Imphal city to denounce the highhandedness of an NSCN (IM) cadre, who allegedly molested and assaulted a film actress and fired at other actors during a musical concert in Chandel district headquarters last evening. The musical concert was organised by the Mahamani Women Society, Chandel.
The sordid incident has come at a time when a final settlement to the peace process between the Naga rebel outfit and New Delhi is reportedly at hand. Momoco Khangembam, who compered the concert at Maha Union Ground, was sitting inside the green room when the cadre, who identified himself as Livingstone Anal of NSCN (IM), called her name, held her hair and assaulted her.
Livingstone Anal was recently promoted to the rank of Lt Colonel in the NSCN (IM). As she resisted, he pushed her to the ground and rained kicks on her in front of her mother, sources said adding that when actor Guna Sharma intervened, the cadre fired at him though he escaped unhurt. Another actor S Prakash who also rushed there after hearing the gunshot was also greeted by another round of bullet fired by the cadre , the sources said adding that the concert was shut down after this.
Strongly reacting against the incident, members of Film Forum Manipur (FFM), an umbrella body of all film related groups of the State as well as traditional theatre artistes staged a rally on the streets of Imphal today afternoon. The forum also convened a meeting at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen. “We strongly condemn such barbaric acts committed on a woman. The authorities should take up necessary measures to punish the cadre to ensure that such sordid incident does not take place in the future,” said actress Tonthoi Leishangthem.
Tonthoi, who bagged the best supporting actress award at the 59th National Film Award, 2011, expressed anguish over the rising crime against women in Manipur. “We have never come across such an incident taking place at a concert venue in Manipur. We demand fitting punishment of the cadre,” said FFM chairman Surjakanta Sharma. “We will agitate in a rigid manner if the NSCN (IM) fails to punish its cadre at the earliest,” warned Surjakanta.
Surjakanta along with other leaders of the forum and the victim actress also demanded the government to take stringent action against the crook cadre. Later in the evening, representatives of Film Forum, Manipur met Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister. Urging the Government to take up fitting action, the Forum in the memorandum while condemning the incident, said that legal proceedings should be taken up and fitting punishment awarded to the culprit.
The Forum also urged the Chief Minister to book the culprit at the earliest possible. In the memorandum, the Forum mentioned that while the programme was, Livingstone Anal entered the green room and molested Momoco. When actors H Guno and S Prakash intervened, he fired two rounds of shot, though both escaped unhurt. Strongly condemning the incident, the Deputy Chief Minister said that he will see what course of action can be taken up. During the meeting with members of the Forum, MLA of Chandel AC, N Victor was also presented and he was instructed by the Deputy Chief Minister to get the culprit to apologise.
The Additional SP and other higher ranked police officials have also been instructed to take up relevant course of action. An FIR will also be lodged at Imphal West police which will be transferred later to Chandel police, assured the Deputy Chief Minister. TSE