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CAB protest in Imphal: 5 injured

CAB protest in Imphal: 5 injured
Police burst mock bombs to diperse women vendors in Imphal on Sunday. (NP)
Correspondent IMPHAL, Feb 10 | Publish Date: 2/10/2019 11:29:03 AM IST

At least five women were injured as police used force to disperse women vendors of Ima Keithel (women market), who were on a sit-in protest in the main market complex from Saturday morning. 

Around 3000 women vendors were demanding a written assurance from the state chief minister to the effect that the Bill shall not affect the Northeastern region in general and Manipur in particular. 

Owing to the protest, normal business activities in the three market places – Paona Bazar, Thangal Bazar and Khwairamnband Keithel and its surrounding markets – remained paralysed for the second day.

On Sunday, a police team with women personnel used force to disperse the protesting women after they refused to leave the market complex which led to a confrontation between the women vendors and women police personnel. 

Police also fired several rounds of tear gas shells and mock bombs as the situation remained out of control. 

In the melee, at least five women vendors and a women police constable sustained injuries. All were immediately rushed to RIMS hospital.

Meanwhile, MANPAC strongly condemned the “serious action” of the police and security forces, while alleging that the women vendors staging democratic protest against CAB were dispersed using force without prior warning.

The MANPAC convenor, who came to the site along with some other leaders, said the women vendors were staging the protest peacefully and democratically and the police and security force personnel acted against them without any provocation. 

Such attack on women vendors will not able to suppress the movement against CAB in the state, he asserted.

Meanwhile, according to PTI report, the People’s Alliance Manipur formed by 131 civil society organisations has called for a total shutdown from 5 a.m on Monday till 5 p.m on Tuesday in protest against the citizenship bill.

One of the activiststs said that they shall stay in the market complex until Wednesday when it is expected that the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will be passed by the Rajya sabha. The Lok Sabha has already passed it. This has become a headache for the police and paramilitary personnel maintaining law and order in the city areas. 

There are problems in procuring potable water, and even toilets and bathrooms do not have running water. Inakkhunbi, a vendor, said: “We buy bottled water since there is no water supply.”

The initial plan was to stage a routine sit-in by the women vendors. “But we decided to stay in the market complex till Wednesday since the Central government is firm on passing the Bill,” said a woman vendor.

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