Tensions in border town Moreh after mob clash with police

Correspondent IMPHAL, Mar 14 | Publish Date: 3/14/2020 12:06:48 PM IST
Prohibitory order has been imposed in Moreh after  tensions were high in town bordering Myanmar. 
Tengnoupal district magistrate promulgated the prohibitory order under sub-section 2 of Section 144 of CrPC following clash between a mob and the police on Friday forenoon in which five police personnel and two villagers were injured.
Four of the five police personnel were injured in a scuffle with occupants of a car who allegedly refused to cooperate with the police commando personnel who were on frisking and checking duty at the inter-village road as part of security measure to check cross border movement after the Indo-Myanmar border was sealed.
Manipur government shielded the border as precautionary measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 in the state across the border.
A statement of the PRO of the state police said that the incident happened after the occupants of the car refused to cooperate with them in frisking and checking.
Even as the police personnel signalled to stop for frisking and checking, the car moved ahead. However, instead of cooperating with the police, they tried to flee. 
“Instead of giving cooperation to the officer (police) on duty, the driver and co-driver started attacking the police commando team commander asking the personnel why they were stopping the vehicles and engaged in a scuffle,” the release claimed.
During the scuffle, the occupants of the car even tried to snatch the weapon of the police commando driver.
Four police personnel got injured in the scuffle. However, the police personnel left the spot after civilians started gathering that at the spot.
The injured personnel were rushed to the hospital at Moreh for medical treatment.
Villagers then moved towards the hospital and began attacking the police personnel with an intention to kill by using lethal weapons like iron rods, sticks, stones, etc.
The mob broke the windshields of police vehicles as well as window panes of the hospital where the police commando personnel were confined.
Following the development, top officials of the district police rushed to the spot and convinced the mob to leave the spot. The mob however did not disperse.
Additional police team were then rushed to the hospital campus to  rescued the police commandos confined in the hospital.
The mob further attacked to the additional force, injuring a police personnel which compelled the police force to fire tear gas smoke shells with the permission of the executive magistrate of the district.
The release asked the accused persons involved in assaulting to injure four police personnel, destruction of government vehicles and other government properties and attacking  police personnel on duty and causing injuries to surrender before the police at the earliest.
The villagers however had another story. They alleged that the car did stop but after a few distance where the police signalled as there were already two vehicles at the spot.
 They said that when the car stopped, the commando personnel rushed toward the vehicle and thrashed the occupants without giving them a chance to speak a word and  pointed their  weapons on their heads.
Two occupants of the car who also sustained injuries were rushed to hospital at Moreh for medical treatment.
Meanwhile, denouncing the act of the police commandos and demanding termination of the police commandos involved in the incident, civil society organisations (CSOs) has imposed a 24-hour total shutdown in the border town.
The strike coupled with stringent security measures by the security forces has severely hit normal life in the town where cross border trade activities had already been affected after the stoppage of the cross border movement of people few days ago.
The CSOs called for a 24-hour total shutdown demanding befitting action against police commando personnel involved in the alleged assault of two civilians on Friday forenoon.
The total shutdown, commenced from last midnight, will end in the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.
CSOs, demanding termination of the police commando personnel from their service, have threatened the government to imposed indefinite bandh along the Imphal-Moreh section of NH-102 if their demand is not addressed even after the shutdown strike.

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