The home of human rights activist Babloo Loitongbam in Manipur’s Imphal was on Thursday attacked by unidentified people, a senior police official told Scroll. Baloo Loitonghbam is a seasoned human rights defender(HRD) and a vocal critique of the failures of the present regime. The supremacist organisation Meitei Leepun had ‘boycotted’ him from speaking publicly. Babloo had also called for CM Biren Singh’s resignation.
“He is claiming here that no church is standing in Imphal valley, all burned,” the official said. “This claim made the public angry,” reported Scroll.
Loitongbam had made the statement in an interview he gave to NewsClick in May, five months ago! He had also spoken about the state of violence in Manipur, especially on the role of radical organisations.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has reacted with concern to the attack on HRD Babloo Loitongpam’s home. ” We are alarmed by threats to human rights defender Babloo Loitongbam by Meitei Leepun & Arambai Tengol groups in #Manipur for speaking out on inter-communal violence since May. We urge authorities to protect him, his family & home, & hold perpetrators accountable.”
#India: We are alarmed by threats to human rights defender Babloo Loitongbam by Meitei Leepun & Arambai Tengol groups in #Manipur for speaking out on inter-communal violence since May. We urge authorities to protect him, his family & home, & hold perpetrators accountable.
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) October 6, 2023
The internationally acclaimed activist has been consistently critical of the Meitei Leepun and the Aarambai Tenggol, radical Meitei organisations accused of fanning violence against Kukis. Since the ethnic conflict broke out on May 3, Loitongbam has also been demanding that Chief Minister N Biren Singh, a Metei, resign from his post.
In the interview, the activist alleged that the Meitei Leepun and the Aarambai Tenggol have “injected” militancy into the minds of people. “They have articulation like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh,” Loitongbam said. “Not a single church stands in the valley now. All churches are being destroyed.”
The activist’s home was attacked on the same day when the Meitei Leepun said it will boycott Loitongbam and former Additional Superintendent of Police Thounaojam Brinda till the ethnic strife ends over making public statements, reported the Ukhrul Times.
The courageous former IPS officer, Brinda had said the Meitei Leepun and the Aarambai Tenggol were responsible for an arson incident, reported India Today. On Wednesday, the two groups stormed her home and demanded a clarification. She then said she was misinformed by a social media video.
On Thursday, the Meitei Leepun also warned that it will not take responsibility for any unwanted incidents if Brinda and Loitongbam violate the “boycott.” Clearly mob rule is the way in Manipur. socio-cultural organisation Meitei Leepun had ‘boycotted’ him from speaking publicly. Babloo had also called for CM Biren Singh’s resignation.
The video put up on X (formerly twitter) shows the brutal damage done on Loitongbam’s home in Imphal.
Activist Babloo Loitongbam’s house has come under attack in Imphal. Babloo has been critical of Meitei radical organisations Meitei Leepun and Aarambai Tenggol. Since the beginning of the ethnic conflict, he has been calling for the resignation of N Biren Singh. @scroll_in pic.twitter.com/gl7wyWcVmz
— Rokibuz Zaman (@ROKIBUZZAMAN2) October 5, 2023