Students killing: Protests continue in Manipur, cars burnt, two BJP offices attacked
Protestors torched two vehicles inside the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Imphal and another civilian vehicle, parked nearby the DC office, was set on fire
Protests against the killings of the two young students continued for the third day in Manipur on Thursday with mobs burning down a BJP office and vandalised another office of the ruling party in Thoubal district.
Protestors also torched two vehicles inside the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Imphal and another civilian vehicle, parked nearby the DC office, was set on fire.
CRPF personnel brought the situation under control, police said.
Though the students’ protests were more or less peaceful on Thursday, but the mobs, comprising both men and women, turned violent in different places of Manipur.
They burnt down a three-story building, which housed the BJP office at Khongjam and vandalised another at Wangjing in Thoubal district.
On Wednesday night, the protesters, defying curfew, clashed with security personnel in Uripok, Yaiskul, Sagolband and Tera areas, prompting the security forces to fire several rounds of tear gas shells to tackle the situation, officials said.
The protesters, including women, blocked roads with burning tyres, boulders and iron pipes to prevent the movement of security forces from entering residential areas.
Huge contingent of central and state security forces were deployed in various districts while the total curfew was re-imposed in the two districts -- Imphal East and Imphal West.
The Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights, meanwhile, urged the security forces not to use baton charge, tear gas shells and rubber bullets "arbitrarily and abruptly" against teenagers.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Rajkumar Imo Singh in a statement strongly condemned the actions of the security forces to deal with the agitations in Manipur.
"Such acts of barbarism by the Armed Forces cannot be tolerated. Can't they use water cannons and other forms to stop such agitation ? The Armed Forces should be instructed to be more humane in dealing with such kinds of delicate situations. Those involved should be given punishment as per law. I also urge my Manipuri brothers and sisters to not indulge in any form of violence," said Singh, who is the son-in-law of the Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.
"Let us ensure justice is given to the murdered students at the earliest. Most Legislators present in Delhi have already asked the Central Government to deliver justice at the earliest. Let us ensure justice is given in the next few days by arresting the culprits involved. And if CBI isn't able to deliver justice within the next few days, let us sit down here in Delhi along with our people to take a new course of action. But let us also ensure that our common cause to save Indigenous people is not diverted, our common cause to ensure that illegal migrants are all detected, action against Insurgent Groups breaking ground rules are taken up, border fencing is completed."
At least 100 students, including girls, have been injured during the agitations on Tuesday and Wednesday after they clashed with the security forces, who prevented them from marching towards the Chief Minister's bungalow.
The security forces used tear gas shells and smoke bombs to disperse the agitating students. Manipur Police, CRPF and Rapid Action Force personnel have been deployed in large numbers throughout the Imphal Valley in anticipation of possible violence.
Seventeen-year-old girl student Hijam Linthoingambi and 20-year-old Phijam Hemjit had gone missing on July 6 during the height of ethnic violence in Manipur and their photographs were circulated in various social media on Monday. Their families suspected that they had been killed by armed assailants. Both the deceased students hailed from Bishnupur district.
In view of the students’ agitations, the state government shut all schools in the state till September 29. The state government on Tuesday also re-imposed the ban on mobile internet services till 7.45 p.m. of October 1 to prevent the spread of misinformation and rumours. On September 23, the internet ban was lifted after more than four months of imposition on May 3 when the ethnic riots began.
Published: 28 Sep 2023, 8:49 PM