Angry Manipuri villagers burn down bridge after girl reported missing

Imphal, Nov 11 (IANS) Angry villagers in Manipur’s Arong village on Friday burned down a wooden suspension bridge after a 12-year-old girl was reported missing earlier in the day while saving a drowning child and mother.

The incident occurred at the Mayang Imphal and Hiyanglam constituencies border, after a three-year-old girl slipped through a gap in the bridge which had some missing planks, following which her mother also jumped into the river to save the child.

Both of them were about to drown when the girl, identified as Memton, 12, jumped in the swift flowing river and managed to push them to the bank — but she herself was swept away by the strong current.

Minister K. Ratankumar, representing Mayang Imphal, and E. Dwijamani of Hiyanglam declined to make any comment on the action of the villagers.

“Minister Ratankumar had promised to get the bridge repaired but never kept his word,” said Ibemhal, a village woman.

A political activist, who is planning to contest the assembly elections, said: “Before the 2014 by-elections in Hiyanglam, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh assured us that the bridge would be repaired.

“But he forgot soon after the elections.”

In view of the tension among the villagers, no fire tender or police came to the spot when the bridge was burned down.

There is no alternative bridge for the villagers of Arong. The villagers said that so far three persons have died there. Besides, numerous two-wheelers had fallen into the river due to the wide gaps in the bridge.

–IANS

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