Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Lady scribe hurt in border row protest in Manipur

Correspondent

Police in Imphal on Wednesday fired teargas and mock bombs to disperse protesters opposed to border fencing at the disputed Manipur sector of the Indo-Myanmar border.
A woman scribe and one protester sustained injuries after they were hit by teargas shells and were rushed to JNIMS hospital, Imphal. Some protesters also sustained minor injuries which need no medical attention. The fencing work at the Manipur sector of the Indo-Myanmar recently re-commenced after suspension for a long time following strong objections raised by the various civil society organizations. The CSOs alleged conceding a large chunk of Manipur’s land on Myanmar side by the fencing work.
Expressing strong dissatisfaction over the re-commence of the fencing work without addressing the demands of the CSOs, the United Committee Manipur (UCM) has been protesting from Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the protesters clashed with the police who used force to disperse the protest staged in front of Imphal’s Kangla western gate. Today, leaders of the UCM including its president Joychandra Konthoujam, along with a large number of people, staged a protest at Khurai Lamlong Bazar.
While staging a sit-in-protest, a police team led by Imphal East SP asked them to end the protest stating that the protest was without necessary permission from the concerned district administration.
As the protest continued unheeded, the police fired several rounds of teargas shells and mock bombs in a bid to disperse protesters. A woman scribe Linda Devi of Pandam, and a local daily and a member of the UCM, sustained injuries after they were hit by teargas shells. They were immediately rushed to JNIMS hospital, Imphal with injuries on their legs. UCM president Joychandra Konthoujam, who strongly condemned the police action against the peaceful protesters, said that the voice of the people cannot be suppressed using force. Alleging that some police personnel meted out excessive force towards the protesters, the UCM president demanded befitting action against them.
While alleging that a large portion of Manipur’s land were left on Myanmar side in the border fencing, he slammed the government of India for sacrificing Manipur’s land only to build a good relationship with Myanmar. The UCM president demanded that the state government should make its stand clear over the boundary issue.
He said that India was not taking the state’s boundary seriously and alleged that a considerable portion of Manipur’s land will be gone to Myanmar once the fencing work is completed.
He accused the Centre of carrying out the fencing work quietly instead of initiating steps to resolve the border dispute first.
The UCM will intensify its agitation if the state government fails to give a positive response at the earliest, he warned. The BRTF is currently carrying out the fencing along the Indo-Myanmar border between border pillars 80 and 81, the disputed site.

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