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Beauty pageant turns into nightmare
Published on 7 Nov. 2008 12:33 AM IST
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The Miss Tokhu beauty pageant, a part of the Tokhu Emong celebrations in Wokha town, that was meant to showcase beauty turned out to be an nightmare for many as the show was marred by violence, forcing the organizers to cancel the pageant in the final moment Thursday night here at Wokha local ground. According to sources, the pageant was in the final lap when there was some scuffle between some youths and security forces outside the venue, adjacent to the 41 Assam Rifles. Moments later, an officer of the 41 AR was heard telling his men in the camp over phone to open blank firing, in an effort to control the agitated crowd. Some AR jawans arrived and escorted their CO and his mother who were also watching the show. After the blank firing stopped, the crowd and the AR personnel started pelting stones at each other, in which at least six people were injured. AR personnel resorted to another round of blank firing to quell the angry crowd. Sources said the crowd became more infuriated when the AR jawans reportedly apprehended some six youths and took them inside the AR camp. Minister for Agriculture Dr. Chumben Murry who graced the pageant as chief guest but left before the commotion started, had to return to the venue to pacify the crowd. Till the time of filing this report, a joint meeting between public, district administration and police and Assam Rifles was in progress at DC’s office, to bring about an amicable solution, sources added. Meanwhile, IGAR media sources clarified that some youth in an inebriated state, had manhandled the Commandant of 41 Assam Rifles who was among the audience at the Miss Tokhu Emong contest on Thursday evening. When the Assam Rifles QRT intervened, some of the youth snatched the gun and some rounds went off, the IGAR sources claimed. Those injured were being given medical attention at the AR hospital in Wokha, the sources said. AR ‘harass’ citizens As Wokha kick started the Tokhu Emong festival, festival goers were reportedly harassed by 41 Assam Rifles jawans in the guise of looking for underground activists, after a jawan was reportedly beaten up by some local youths at Hotel Ni-li on Wednesday. According to Wokha police who carried out a preliminary enquiry after a complaint was filed by proprietor of Hotel Ni-li, the AR jawan identified as Machs Singh along with two ladies had gone to the hotel Wednesday around 2 p.m and asked the manager for a room to stay. When the manager told the AR jawan that all the rooms were booked for the day, the trio, instead of leaving, sat down in the hotel and started consuming liquor and after sometime the jawan again demanded a room, police said. As the manager reiterated his inability to allot any room, Singh reportedly started threatening the manager by saying that he would come back the next day. On hearing the jawan’s threat, an unidentified person beat up the jawan, who then left the hotel accompanied by the two women. However, around 4.30 p.m, a party of armed AR jawans including Singh came to the hotel in three vehicles and started harassing the lady manager of the hotel and beating up the occupants. It was also reported that the Assam Rifles jawans went to the local talent concert at local ground and harassed the onlookers in the guise of looking for underground activists.

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