Imphal, June 22: Tension gripped Sadar Hills this afternoon after four cadres of the Kuki National Front (KNF) were arrested by personnel of 35 Assam Rifles posted at Hengbung.
Protesting the arrest, irate womenfolk of Sadar Hills imposed an indefinite bandh along the National Highway-2 in front of the 35 AR Henbung post since morning today.
The four cadres are reported to be body guard of KNF president, ST Thangboi, who is also the chairman of United Peoples’ Front (UPF).
UPF is one among the two conglomerates of the Kuki UGs which had recently held the first round of political dialogue with the Centre and the state. He was attending a traditional family function at Hengbung today when the incident happened.
Report said that Maj. Gulati, Commander, 35 AR Hengbung post arrested the four bodyguards of Thangboi when the KNF president was attending the function.
A leader of Sardar Hills Kuki Women Union, while speaking to this reporter alleged that, Maj. Gulati had some small arms with him before apprehending the bodyguards and later claimed to have recovered the same from the bodyguards.
She said, “UPF and KNO had recently held the first round of political dialogue with the Centre and state governments at New Delhi and it is an insult to the whole Kuki community that the 35 AR under the command of the ‘arrogant’ Major behaved ruthlessly with a dignitary of tripartite political talks”.
She further alleged that the 35 AR personnel including the post commander have violated the ground rules of SoO, and demanded punitive action from the higher authority.
The women folks also demand unconditional release of the four arrested bodyguards while warning that the sudden indefinite bandh along the NH-2 will continue until they are released.
Till filing of this report the women folks are continuing their protest in front of the AR camp; however there is no report of any untoward incident so far.
Meanwhile around 51 loaded trucks, 7 passenger bus and 3 Winger vehicles heading towards Imphal are reported to have been stranded due to the sudden blockade imposed by the women body of Sardar Hill. Vehicles supposed to leave Imphal for Dimapur and Guwahati have also been suspended today.