A 19-year-old youth succumbed to his injuries on Monday after Manipur Police opened fire on his vehicle for not complying with their demand to stop and be frisked.
The incident occurred on Sunday night when a group of young men were returning from a picnic in two vehicles from Selheipung Garden, several kilometers outside of Imphal city. On their way back home they were stopped by a police team at Lamlai police station at around 6 pm for frisking. While one car stopped, the second car, a white Chevrolet Captiva refused to comply and sped off. The car was carrying four young men including 19-year-old Konsam Kourounganba who was later gunned down by the police.
The car headed towards Imphal city. A police team chased the car for about an hour. The youth drove towards Sagolmang, Pangei, Waiton and then headed toward Sajiwa Jail, all the while the police car chasing them. It’s at this spot that the police commandos opened fire on them at Kangla Sangomsang.
Konsam was shot in the stomach and his friend, 17-year-old Konthoujam Bhagat, received injuries on his neck and throat from the shards of glass from the broken window shield. Both were rushed to Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Medical Sciences in Imphal city by the police but as Konsam’s condition deteriorated he was shifted to Shija hospital. He succumbed to his injuries yesterday. He was a class XII student of NG Mani Higher Secondary School
The two others in the car – 19-year-old Chandam Premananda and 22-year-old Chabungbam Manoj Singh were arrested and handed over to the Lamlai police station where they are now being held in custody.
Imphal remained tense on Tuesday as the news of the incident spread and a joint action committee formed by the family and friends of the victim has called an indefinite strike on the Imphal-Ukhrul road demanding the termination of all the commandos involved in Sunday night’s incident. All movement on this highway has ceased in response to the call.
Rakesh Meihoubam, a human rights lawyer in Imphal will be representing the family who will now be filing a writ petition in the Manipur High Court. “There has been an FIR lodged at Lamlai police station based on the report filed by the commandos who were involved in the incident. We will be trying to lodge a counter FIR against the commandos tomorrow. Meanwhile we will also be filing a writ petition in the Manipur High Court tomorrow demanding that action be taken against the guilty commandos,” Rakesh told The Indian Express.