Crippled in mob attack, Kuki BJP MLA from Manipur admitted to Delhi hospital

Vungzagin Valte’s son says till now no one from the party had either visited or called them

June 07, 2023 07:50 pm | Updated 10:15 pm IST - New Delhi

BJP MLA Vungzagin Valte who was attacked by protesters, was brought to a hospital, in Imphal on May 05, 2023.

BJP MLA Vungzagin Valte who was attacked by protesters, was brought to a hospital, in Imphal on May 05, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

Vungzagin Valte (61) can barely move without assistance. His voice is gone. The third-time legislator belonging to the Kuki community, who is also an adviser to Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on tribal affairs, is among the first victims of the Kuki-Meitei ethnic violence that has claimed over 100 lives in the northeastern State since May 3.

As Mr. Valte, a BJP MLA from the Thanlon constituency in Manipur, battles a skull injury in a private hospital in Delhi for the past one month, his son Joseph Valte said till now no one from the party had either visited or called them.

Also Read | Three-member Commission of Inquiry to probe ethnic violence in Manipur

Joseph said his father is like a child now and has to be taught to talk and walk again due to the injuries he suffered after a mob assaulted him on May 4. His face was damaged and doctors inserted a platinum plate to fix his jaw.

Recalling the incident, Joseph said he last spoke to his father on the morning of May 4 when the latter was leaving from the Chief Minister’s Office after attending a meeting. A day ago, ethnic violence had started spreading in the State, post a tribal solidarity march in Churachandpur and other hill areas. The violence that has continued since has already displaced over 35,000 people.

“After meeting the Chief Minister, he called to say that he was coming with a government order. That was the last I heard from him, I still do not know what that order was as he has not been able to speak after that,” said Joseph (29), who assists his father in legislative work.

He said after he left the secretariat for his official residence at Lamphelpat, his father’s official car was stopped by a group of people who were wearing black clothes. He and his driver, Thanghoulal, also a Kuki, were taken to a community centre nearby. The Personal Security Officer (PSO), Elangbam Mapu, a Meitei, was spared and was asked to run for his safety.

‘Tortured for hours’

“He was first stunned by a Taser gun and then repeatedly hit on the skull by a sharp object. Had it been a mob, he would have had injuries on other parts of his body. It was a targeted attack, we believe he and his driver were tortured for hours before being left for dead,” Joseph said.

The son said he had no idea how his father and driver reached the hospital in the evening. The same night, he was airlifted to Delhi. “It was the Chief Minister who arranged for his airlift to the Delhi hospital. The driver could not be taken along as he had severe injuries on his neck and doctors advised against it. Two days later the driver died in the hospital,” said Joseph.

It was on the basis of a complaint by the PSO that a First Information Report has been registered at the Imphal police station for attempt to murder and causing grievous hurt against “unknown persons.”

“On his way to the quarters, a huge number of irritated mob attacked the MLA and his escort team at the RIMS road near Nityainanda Temple. The escort team could not control the violent mob and they vandalised the vehicles. As a result of the attack, the MLA and his personal driver received injuries and were admitted in an unconscious state at the RIMS casualty,” the FIR states.

Joseph said his wife and children who were present in the official residential quarters had to be rushed to the Imphal airport under Army’s protection.

“I do not think I will be able to ever go back to Imphal. As I used to handle my father’s work, I had so many friends in the State administration. Today, we are no longer in touch with the State government,” he said.

Joseph said he was not sure about the identity of the attackers. “We are told that Aarambai Tenggol could be behind the attack. When I first heard about this group a year ago, I thought they are gang of bikers,” he said.

Aarambai Tenggol, a radical Meitei outfit which owes its allegiance to Chief Minister Biren Singh, has been accused of leading the violence and destroying churches.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.