22 vehicles torched, stranded people escorted to safer places
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, December 18 2016:
Altogether 22 vehicles were set ablaze by frenzied mobs at Khurai Heikrumakhong, Imphal East today.
Although the 24 hours bandh called by women vendors of Khwairamband Keithel ended at 7 pm yesterday, the bandh was imposed today at different pockets of Imphal East and Imphal West.
Bandh supporters halted vehicles travelling along Imphal-Ukhrul road at Khurai.
People travelling along the road were forced to get down from their vehicles and altogether 22 vehicles were set ablaze.
However there was no report of any human casualty.
Nonetheless, a group of bandh supporters, local people and police escorted the stranded passengers to safer places.
The local people announced and ensured that no one attacked the stranded passengers who were later given refuge at the community hall of Ima Chingcharoibi, Khurai Konsam Leikai.
The local people, AMUCO, UCM and police distributed eatable items to the stranded passengers.
Later, police escorted the stranded passengers to safer places in their Gypsys in groups of fours and fives.
Many local people came out and offered the stranded passengers particularly elderly persons and women travelling with kids that they may halt the night in their houses until the situation returns to normalcy.
UCM, AMUCO and police too promised all necessary assistance.
One of the bandh supporters said that they were enraged by violation of the bandh.
She then appealed to all the communities to promote harmony and peaceful co-existence.
She said that the local people would not allow anyone to hurt any of the stranded passengers.
On the other hand, another group of bandh supporters pelted stones at a bus and a Bolero jeep in which IRB personnel were escorting some stranded passengers at Khurai Puthiba Nandeibam Leikai.
Some five/six persons including the driver of the bus sustained injuries in the attack.
It was reported that none of the injuries were of serious nature.
Nonetheless, all the injured people were given first aid by police and local people.
Later police escorted the bus and its passengers to a safer place.
Tense confrontation also broke out at different points of the road.
As police tried to disperse the bandh supporters by firing tear gas shells, the bandh supporters retaliated by pelting stones.
Speaking to the stranded passengers who were given refuge at the community hall of Ima Chingcharoibi, Khurai Konsam Leikai, UCM president Elangbam Johnson appealed to all the people to maintain calm and sanity.
He also assured that they would provide whatever assistance required by the stranded passengers.
Elderly persons, women children and women would be taken care of and they would be taken to hospital, if necessary, Johnson said.
Together with the local people and police, UCM would make necessary arrangements to take all the stranded passengers to their respective destinations.
He also appealed to all the communities to promote harmony and peaceful co-existence.
On the other hand, some people imposed counter economic blockade at Sagolband Moirang along Imphal-Jiribam highway today.
They pulled down goods being carried in different vehicles and set them ablaze.
Goods set afire there included banana, cooking oil, ginger and other edible items.
One of the counter blockade supporters said that they would continue with their stir until the blockade is lifted.