Regional

Police disrupt spontaneous anti-CAA protests in Manipur

Correspondent IMPHAL, Dec 20 | Publish Date: 12/20/2019 11:44:35 AM IST
A clash broke out between police and anti-CAA demonstrators in the crowded city market area on Friday as citizens of Manipur continued protesting against the new citizenship law. 
All the anti-CAB movement spearheaded by CSOs, particularly by Manipur People Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 (MANPAC) have die down after the Centre extended ILP system to keep the state outside the ambit of CAA was extended. However, concerned citizens from different works of life were continuing staging demonstrations in Imphal opposing the new citizenship law and in solidarity to the fight against CAA in other parts of the country, particularly in other NE states.
Few days ago, likeminded people gathered in front of the western gate of Kangla Fort in Imphal and staged silent peaceful protest opposing CAA and in solidarity to people fighting against the Act in other parts of the country.
The silent protest that lasted for three days was followed by a protest rally carried out by a group of young people from different communities on the streets of Imphal. The rally of the young people wearing traditional attires of their respective communities was foiled by the police in Imphal’s Keishampat Junction.
Today, another similar demonstration was staged at the crowded market place (Khwairamband Keithel) in the heart of the capital city. The demonstration  originated from Iroishemba in Imphal West district, around six kilometres away from the city along Imphal-Kangchup road, where  likeminded citizens staged a peaceful demonstration in solidarity to anti-CAA protests.
After a brief demonstration and a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to anti-CAA protestors who have died in police hands, the demonstrators marched towards Imphal city.
Some of the placards read as “Northeast is not immigrant shelter home”, “No CAA in NE”, “Omit Shah”, etc When they converged at the crowded Khwairamband Keithel and carried out demonstration displaying anti-CAA slogans and singing “We shall overcome” , a large number of police intervened.
As  demonstrators defied the warning, police personnel swung into action to disperse them which led to a brief clash between the demonstrators and police.
During the melee, police detained some of the demonstrators and attempted to take them away leading to aggravating  the clash. It was only after the police released their colleagues that demonstrators calmed down and dispersed themselves.
An entrepreneur taking the lead role in the demonstration said that no organisation is involved in the demonstration and they joined the protest on their own capacity.
He said that ILP system in no way will protect the indigenous people of the region. The extension of ILP regime in the state was a strategy of the Centre to suppress voice of the people of the state against CAA.
A women demonstrator said Manipur is a part of NE region and when the Centre keeps some parts of the region within the ambit of CAA, the state under ILP regime and sixth scheduled areas cannot be protected from the worse impact of the CAA.
“At the end, CAA is going to affect us all. NE people must beware of CAA,” she said.
Another demonstrator strongly condemned the state government while alleging that order to arrest anti-CAA protestors was issued to the police.
“It is nothing but to shut the mouth of people. But we are not going to remain silent because I am very concerned with whatever is happening in the country because of CAA,” he said.
 

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