Protesters clash with police in Mnp

Protesters clash with police in Mnp
Strike supporters displaying their demands during 48-hour general strike call given by Muslim based students bodies on Thursday. (NP)
Correspondent IMPHAL, Oct 29 | Publish Date: 10/29/2020 12:10:43 PM IST

Police fired tear gas on Thursday to disperse protesters who allegedly indulged in violent activities during a 48-hour general strike call given by Muslim based student bodies in Manipur.

At some places, police clashed with the protesters who pelted stones towards vehicles that defied the state-wide general strike.There were reports of injuries inflicted on protesters in the clashes which needed no medical attention.

Two Muslim based student bodies - All Manipur Muslim Students’ Organisation (AMMSO) and Pangal Students’ Union, Dhanamanjuri University (PSU-DMU) called  the 48-hour general strike which commenced from Wednesday midnight.

The key demand of the student bodies was extension of reservation of 4 % for the Meitei Pangal (Muslim) community in non-professional course in higher education.

Though the strike was state-wide, it affected normal life only in the Muslim dominated areas in the valley districts on the first day. Hundreds of supporters took to the streets in their respective localities and villages and blocked roads using bamboo, logs, stones, etc. At some places, particularly in Muslim dominated areas in the capital city, protesters lit fire on the roads to disturb normal vehicular traffic besides physical obstruction to the vehicles defying the strike.

The strike sponsored bodies announced relaxation to religious ceremonies, rituals, emergency services, water electricity, medical services and media from the purview of the general strike.

Roads were completely blocked at most of the places and even completely fenced, leaving no space for emergency movement. At some places in the capital city and its outskirts, police clashed with the strike supporters who pelted stones when police tried to clear the road for normal traffic.

At Hapta area of the capital city, a large number of strike supporters came out to halt vehicular traffic and even pelted stones on anyone defying the strike. 

When protesters turned hostile by pelting stones towards the vehicles, a strong team Imphal East district police rushed to the spot and tried to convince them.

However, as the protestors continued to indulge in the acts, police detained some protestors that led to a violent clash.

As the protesters showered the police with stones and slingshots, police opened fired several rounds of tear gas shells and mock bombs. They also baton-charged the protesters causing minor injuries to some of them.  The situation was brought under control only after police released detained protesters.

Locals claimed that least four persons including two women sustained minor injuries in police action. They were rushed to a nearby healthcare centres where they were discharged after medical treatment.

In Lilong, a Muslim dominated area in Thoubal district,  a large number of protesters came out on the Imphal-Moreh section of NH-2 and blocked the road since early morning today. 

The police had a hard time dealing with the protesters who continued to block the highway despite repeated dispersion. 

There too, the police fired several rounds of tear gas shells and mock bombs apart from charging them with batons in their bid to open the highway for normal vehicular traffic. At least two protesters were injured in the police action, reports said. The clash between protesters and police also reported from other places.


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