Manipur CM’s assurance fails to allay people’s fear

Correspondent IMPHAL, Nov 13 | Publish Date: 11/13/2019 10:48:13 AM IST
Police and protesters battled near MLA’s residence on Tuesday night as alert protest on Naga peace talks continued unabated unheeding to the chief minister’s appeal for calm.
Manipur chief minister on Tuesday called on the people and CSOs of the state to trust his government, saying the state government fully trust the assurance given by the Centre of not harming the state’s integrity while settling the vexed Naga political issue.
However, the chief minister’s appeal failed to allay the fears of the people of the state. 
On the same night when chief minister made his appeal to the people, violent clash erupted after hundreds of people on torch rally targeted the residence of MLA Paonam Brojen in Thoubal’s Wangjing.
As the police prevented the protesters from further proceeding towards the residence of the MLA, the anguished protesters pelted stones towards the police which they retaliated with tear gas and mock bombs.
Police alleged that some protesters even attacked them with catapults while some threw meiras (bamboo torches) at them.
In the melee, a policeman and several protesters sustained injuries. Police also detained as many as 17 protesters who were later lodged at Thoubal police station.
The protesters stormed the residence of the MLA as part of series of alert protests on Naga peace talk  spearheaded by Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI).
On Wednesday too, people continued to storm the residences of MLAs at various places and students of various schools were among the protesters who stormed the MLAs’ residence. 
Students took part in the rally while people storming the residence of Congress MLA K Meghachandra in Thoubal district as well as at the residence of state deputy chief minister Y Joykumar Singh in Imphal West district.
For the deputy chief minister, it was the second time protesters stormed his residence demanding a special session of the state Assembly to be convened to adopt a fresh resolution to safeguard the territorial integrity of the state.
Meanwhile, police on Wednesday foiled a protest rally organised by Communist Party of India (CPI) Manipur State Council targeting the state Assembly complex in Imphal’s Chingmeirong.
The mass rally originated from Khurai area of Imphal East district was forced to make U-turn before reaching the Assembly complex.
Talking to reporters after the police foiled the rally, CPI state council secretary L Sotinkumar alleged that the uneasy calm prevailing in the state was the creation of the Central leaderships.
He alleged that non-disclosure of the points agreed in the last round of peace talk has put the people of the state in a fix.
CPI has been pressing the state government to convene a special session of the state Assembly only to calm people apprehensive of the territorial integrity of the state being affected due to the peace talks, he said.Staging of alert protest and formation human chain also continued unabated. 
Meanwhile, Congress MLAs led by former chief minister O Ibobi Singh have started leaving Imphal for New Delhi to meet the Central government leadership on issues surrounding the Naga peace talks.
The Congress delegation is planning to meet with Prime Minister, Union home minister and other leaders of the Central government besides AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and press them to safeguard the geographical boundary of the state.
The former chief minister along with seven other MLAs of the party left Imphal today. More MLAs of the party will be leaving Imphal tomorrow to join them at the national capital.

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