Police break up protest outside Manipur Bhavan

Around 100 police personnel who were guarding the area resorted to a mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd.

Written by Sarah Hafeez | New Delhi | Updated: August 17, 2014 11:52 am
Those gathered were protesting against the month-long clampdown in the Manipur town of Ukhrul. (Source: Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey) Those gathered were protesting against the month-long clampdown in the Manipur town of Ukhrul. (Source: Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Around 200 people, who were protesting against imposition of prohibitory orders since July 13 in the Naga-dominated town of Ukhrul in Manipur, clashed with police outside Manipur Bhavan in Chanakyapuri on Saturday afternoon.

Protesters had gathered outside Manipur Bhavan around 3 pm under the banner of ‘Committee Against Imposition of CrPC 144’. They set fire to an effigy of Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and said they wanted to submit a memorandum to the Resident Commissioner. However, when they were told he was not in the complex, the crowd became restless and smashed the windscreen of a police van nearby. Around 100 police personnel who were guarding the area resorted to a mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd. In the clashes that followed, two protesters and two policemen were injured.

“A couple of persons were detained after the protests. They have been released. We have filed an FIR under sections relating to rioting, injuring public servants and damaging public property,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) S B S Tyagi said.
Mobilised by the Tangkhul Students’ Union in Delhi, the protesters  submitted a memorandum requesting the chief minister to revoke the prohibitory orders in Ukhrul for a month now. Autonomous District Council member Ngalangzar Malue was killed in an ambush, allegedly carried out by NSCN (I-M) cadres on July 12 in Finch Corner, 22 km from Ukhrul. The Manipur government responded by sending in 500 personnel of the India Reserve Battalion and Manipur Police Commandos to Ukhrul the next day. They also arrested eight suspected NSCN (I-M) cadres.

“It has been 34 days since the clampdown on Ukhrul. The Manipur government has still not caught the killer… We condemn the killing of the ADC member, but to deploy forces in Ukhrul, which is 22 km from the scene of crime, is cruel and illegal. It goes against Article 371C of the Constitution and the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972. We could not even celebrate Independence Day because not more than five persons are allowed to gather under CrPC 144,” convenor of the Committee Against Imposition of CrPC, Lakpachui Siro, said.

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