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I’m open to criticism, says Zoramthanga

Aizawl: Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Monday said that he was open to criticism, in an apparent reference to his Manipur counterpart N Biren Singh.

Taking to his official Instagram handle, Zoramthanga posted a photo of Hangmuanlai Vaiphei, a 21-year-old Kuki-Zo youth in Manipur, who tragically lost his life in an alleged mob lynching while in police custody in the wake of ethnic violence in the neighbouring state.

“Such incidents will not happen in Mizoram,” Zoramthanga said.

On April 30, Vaiphei was picked up by police from his home in Manipur’s Churachandpur for reposting a social media post critical of Chief Minister Biren Singh and the Meitei community. Four days later, as violence engulfed the state, he was allegedly beaten to death on a street in Imphal, when he was supposed to be in police custody. 

According to a suo motu FIR later filed at Porompat police station in Imphal East by the Sub-Inspector (SI) in-charge of the case in which Vaiphei had been apprehended, the student was killed by a mob while being taken from the Manipur High Court complex to Central Jail, Sajiwa.

“As the head of a state, I accept that I may occasionally be the subject of mockery and criticism due to flaws or shortcomings in the government. However, such incidents (like arresting someone for expressing dissent towards the government) will not happen in Mizoram,” Zoramthanga said.

He added: “We, as public servants, are not beyond questioning and criticism. We value your voices and opinions on our administration,” Zoramthanga stated. He, however, underlined the need for constructive criticism, appealing for a collaborative approach towards governance.

Continuing his commitment to the welfare of the people and youth, Zoramthanga assured the public that despite various challenges, the government is striving to achieve its objectives. “We will continue give more efforts to achieve our goals irrespective of any obstacles encountered along the way,” he said.

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