Street protest against cold blooded murder of two students grows louder
At least 50 more injured in police action
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 27 2023: For the second day, thousands of students marched the streets of Imphal denouncing Government's failure to protect the lives of two young students, whose photographs of before and after their murder in captivity of armed Kukis have emerged on social media.

While the students of several schools in Imphal in thousands took to the streets and marched towards the Chief Minister's Bungalow, security forces cracked down on them charging with batons, and firing tear gas shells and smoke bombs.

The brutal crackdown on the students protesting the heinous murder of the two kidnapped students hurt at least 50 .

In several video clips shared on social media, security forces were seen beating students who were left isolated from the others.

Street protest against cold blooded murder of two students grows louder
Street protest against cold blooded murder of two students grows louder

In one of the clips, 5-6 security personnel are seen raining blows with batons on one unarmed student protester.

The injured students were rushed to different hospitals in Imphal.

The two students, Phijam Hemanjit (20) and Hijam Linthoingambi (17) went missing on July 6 during the heightened tension between the Meiteis and the Kukis, following the May 3 ATSUM's "Solidarity March" that turned ugly at Torbung area of Bishnupur bordering Churachandpur district.

Then suspected to have been kidnapped and killed, the whereabouts of the two students and their status had remained elusive till their photographs surfaced on social media 82 days later on September 25, hardly two days after mobile internet data service was resumed in Manipur.

While one of the photographs shows the two students in captivity sitting on a grassy compound alive and afraid with two armed men in the background, another photograph shows their lifeless bodies ditched and lying on a grassy ground.

Went missing on July 6, the two were suspectedly murdered on July 8, according to a time-stamp seen on the photograph.

Their bodies have not been traced and recovered yet, although security forces conducted a search operation at a suspected village-Joujangtek in Noney district's Khoupum sub-division yesterday.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has been given the case.

Hijam Linthoingambi alias Luwangbi was daughter of Hijam Kullajit and Hijam ongbi Jayalakshmi of Sagolband Tera Tongbram Leikai.

Phijam Hemanjit was son of Phijam Ibungobi and Phijam ongbi Memcha of Takyel Kolom Leikai.

The two students went missing after attending a tuition class.

They were last seen at Bishnupur's Nambol.

Their phones were last traced at Kwakta and afterwards, Hemanjit's handset was reportedly used by a person identified as Lhingmichong, Care of Janglen of Ingourok Lamdan, Churachandpur district at the time.

After their photographs went viral on social media, thousands of students took to the streets in Imphal yesterday.

Police crackdown yesterday hurt over 50, some girl students receiving grievous injuries.

Today, students in record number from several schools filled the streets of Imphal denouncing the Government's failure in tracing and protecting the lives of the two students.

The students defied an order of the State Government which declared holiday in all schools till September 29 .

At around 11 am, around 3000 students (with and without school uniforms) congregated at Hao ground near Pishum Chingmacha.

At around 12.30 pm, the students marched towards the Chief Minister's Bungalow.

The students raised slogans demanding arrest of all culprits involved in the murder of the two missing teen students and denounced the use of excessive force against student protesters.

The students' march was blocked by security forces including the RAF at Moirangkhom Krishna Premi Oil Pump.

As the students' remained adamant and demanded a meeting with the Chief Minister, a commotion broke out with the security forces.

The security forces fired rounds of tear gas shells and smoke bombs to disperse the students.

The security forces' crackdown hurt at least 17 students who were rushed to hospitals in Imphal including Raj Medicity and Advanced Hospital.

The students reportedly also fired slingshots and pelted stones at the security forces.

After Imphal West SP Dr Sarangthem Ibomcha came to the site, 30 student representatives were allowed to meet the Chief Minister at his Bungalow at around 2 pm.

During the talk, both sides couldn't reach an agreement.

Afterwards, the students continued their protest at Moirangkhom where security forces resorted to firing tear gas shells and smoke bombs at the students.

Security forces' crackdown on students and protesters continued late in the evening with at least 50 reportedly injured and taken to hospitals in Imphal.

On the other hand, students of Dhanamanjuri University marched towards Kanglapat to submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister.

Near Kangla Western gate, a commotion broke out between the students and the police.

Later, 30 students were allowed to meet the Chief Minister and they submitted a memorandum. The Chief Minister and the students reached an agreement on several points.

The DM students said the Chief Minister assured swift and effective action to apprehend all perpetrators responsible for the heinous crime.

Further, the Government agreed to review and address concerns regarding any excessive use of force by the police and security forces on protesters, if proven.

Thirdly, the Government agreed to bear responsibility for medical treatment and well-being of all students who have been injured during the protest.

A statement released by the Joint Secretary, Chief Minister's Office later also reflected the same points of agreement reached.

On the other hand, the DM students said even though the Government has agreed to the terms they presented, classes in DM University will be boycotted and the Administrative Block will be locked until all perpetrators involved in the murder of the two students are arrested.

The students locked the Administrative Block of the DMU at around 4 pm.

In another incident at around 3.20 pm, security forces fired several rounds of tear gas shells and mock bombs at protesters who marched to storm Raj Bhavan from BT Road.

The security forces' crackdown hurt at least 2 girls, who were taken to nearby hospitals.

Police forced the protesters towards Uripok and Sagolband.

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