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Protests continue in Manipur over encounter killings
Published on 20 Aug. 2009 11:54 PM IST
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Protesters in Manipur’s Bishenpur district burned the effigy of state Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh to protest against the killing of a youth in a fake encounter. They are demanding stringent action against the police commandos allegedly involved in the shootout. Shouting slogans like “Resign criminal Chief Minister Ibobi, punish the killer police commandos, Toubul women took out a protest march and burned the effigy of Ibobi. State police commandoes later dispersed the protesters. In what is termed as an “encounter” by the police, a pregnant woman and a suspected militant succumbed to gunfire while five others were injured in the shootout on July 23 near the building of the State Legislature in Imphal. JAC urges political parties The Joint Action Committee against the killing of Ch Sanjit has urged all political parties to protest against alleged fake encounters rampant in the state and also expressed gratitude to the Manipur People’s Party and BJP for showing keen interest in the matter. According to UNI report, a BJP Parliamentary team, consisting of four MPs, had come to Manipur and met the members of the JAC. It assured to take up the matter in Parliament and with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. On July 23, a youth, Ch Sanjit, was allegedly killed in a fake encounter at Khwairamband market which evoked massive protests throughout the state. A two-day general strike ended last evening and the government had imposed curfew since August 4 which was relaxed for 12 hours today. The government has ordered a judicial inquiry and suspension of six police personnel. However, the JAC rejected the decision of the government and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and dismissal of the involved police personnel. BJP demands President’s rule The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday demanded that Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh be sacked and president’s rule imposed in the state following the violent protests that have refused to subside since July 23 when two people were killed in an alleged fake gunbattle with police. “The constitutional mechanism has failed completely (in the state),” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said here. “The BJP demands president’s rule in the state, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh should be sacked and the commandos involved in the July 23 fake encounter booked under IPC 302 and arrested immediately,” Javadekar said in a statement. “Manipur is on the boil. The broad daylight fake encounter and killing of Sanjit Singh and Rabina Devi by police commandos in the presence of hundreds of onlookers has stirred the conscience of the state,” Javadekar said. He said the situation in the state was “serious and must be addressed immediately”. Sanjit Singh, 27, was killed in the July 23 shootout and passed of as a militant by police. Rabina Devi was also killed in the gunbattle. People and rights group alleged that the shootout was staged by police. Protests erupted after local media reproduced pictures carried by a New Delhi-based web portal depicting some police commandos surrounding and taking Sanjit into a pharmacy in Imphal and later bringing out his body. Sanjit, a former member of the banned People’s Liberation of Army, had surrendered to the government a few years back.

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