M A I N   N E W S

Army keen to establish truth in
killing of woman: Vij
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 3
In the first high-level official visit from New Delhi to the trouble-torn state of Manipur Chief of Army Staff Gen N.C. Vij today assured the local people that security forces were "very keen" to establish the truth behind the death of Manorama Devi.

General Vij was on a day's visit to Imphal to assess the security situation there following the large-scale violence by the locals following the alleged rape and killing of Manorama Devi. The Chief of Army Staff also met Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi Singh.

He later said that in an effort to establish the truth the Army had on its own initiative taken blood samples of 31 Assam Rifles personnel for conducting DNA tests.

"These were jointly sealed under the arrangement of Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, and deposited with the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Kolkata," a press note issued here said quoting the Army Chief.

As a goodwill gesture, General Vij announced the Army was ready to handover the historic Kangla Fort, the seat of former Manipur kings, to the state government. The fort presently houses the Assam Rifles Divisional Headquarters.

During his talks with the Chief Minister, the Army Chief assured him that if any culpability were established, the guilty would be most severely dealt with in keeping with the ethos and discipline of the army.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil is also scheduled to visit the state on Sunday, which would be the first visit by any political figure from the government. He is likely to be briefed by the Army Chief about the prevailing situation before he reaches Imphal on Sunday.

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