The violent protests have escalated in Manipur over the death of two youths on Thursday. Early on Thursday morning, a mob torched two four-wheelers and vandalised the Deputy Commissioner's office in Imphal West as part of ongoing demonstrations in the state. After images of the bodies of two youths who went missing in July went viral on social media, a fresh bout of violence erupted in the Northeastern state - this time driven by students.
Last night, the protesters clashed with security personnel in Uripok, Yaiskul, Sagolband and Tera areas, prompting the forces to fire several rounds of tear gas shells to control the situation, officials said. The protesters blocked roads with burning tyres, boulders and iron pipes to prevent the security forces from entering residential areas, they said.
Security forces swung into action
Following the incident, CRPF personnel swung into action and brought the situation under control. Curfew was re-imposed in the two districts — Imphal East and West — as the security forces combatted the violent protests, which saw 65 demonstrators being injured since Tuesday.
In a statement, the Manipur cops also claimed that a mob attacked a police vehicle and set it on fire while attacking a policeman and snatching his weapon. They further said that harsh action would be taken against those indulging in such crimes, adding that a search operation was underway for the recovery of the snatched arms and the arrest of the accused.
Meanwhile, the Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights has urged the security forces not to resort to lathi-charge, tear gas shells and rubber bullets against teenagers.
More than 180 people have been killed and several hundred injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, when a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the majority Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status. Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mostly in the hill districts.
(With PTI inputs)