DGP refutes Naga bodies' charges, sets record straight on Noney incident
Source: Hueiyen News Service
Imphal, November 06 2011:
Reacting to the allegation of assault on civilians by the Manipur Police Commandos without any provocation at Noney Bazar on November 4, DGP of Manipur Y Joykumar Singh has clarified that the bandh supporters at Noney stopped two Tata Sumos coming towards Imphal in the morning of November 4 and burnt them down at around 8 pm and the police party which had gone for duty to Tousem in connection with the visit of Union Home Minister could not cross Noney area before the midnight of November 3 .
In a statement, the DGP said that it was learnt that the crowd which had resorted to arson was still assembled at Noney to stop the police party from returning from Tousem.
As the police team returning from Tousem had not carried any tear gas equipment, they would have had to open fire if stopped or attacked.
As the police did not want this to happen, 12 teams of commandos along with tear gas equipments were sent from Imphal to retrieve the police team.
On arrival at Noney, the police commandos were blocked by the bandh supporters.
The police personnel asked them to clear the road which was not heeded.
Instead, more people started gathering and the number of bandh supporters were swelling.
The police personnel fired a few tear gas shells to disperse the crowd after sufficient warning and cleared the road.
But the bandh supporters again blocked the road when the police commandos returned along with the Tousem team from Awangkhul.
The public were again asked to make way for the convoy.
However, it was not heeded.
Consequently, a stern warning was issued to clear the road but then the warning was not heeded even after 10 minutes or so, and as the mob started pelting stones, the police party resorted to firing tear gas and cleared the route.
In the altercation, windshields of two police vehicles were broken and two police personnel were injured, the DGP informed.
The DGP further explained that the police personnel had no intention of hurting or injuring any civilians other than allowing safe passage of the police team returning from Tousem.
On the contrary, it was the bandh supporters, who were actively indulging in burning of vehicles, damaging public properties without any provocation.
The allegation that the crowd at Noney was a peaceful one and the police resorted to firing of tear gas without any provocation is totally false.
How can a crowd which had resorted to burning of two Tata Sumos and resorted to stone pelting at the police party be treated as a peaceful one ?, DGP Joykumar questioned.
He pointed out that a number of arson cases have taken place at Noney.
Only recently, a DI Tata of police department was burnt down by a mob at Noney Bazar on October 23 .
While negotiation is still going on by the SP, Tamenglong, two Tata Sumos were burnt between Noney and Awangkhul on November 4 apart from burning of vehicles of Noney Police Out-post on the same day after the police commandos left Noney.
All these incidents bear testimony to the violent nature of the crowd at Noney.
Asserting that police department always tried to avoid confrontation with any crowd as far as possible, the DGP observed that 'we have shown restrain and patience throughout the blockade called by SHDDC and the counter blockade called by UNC.
It was only after things have gone beyond tolerable limit that police had to resort to confrontation when Works Minister was unreasonably stopped and attacked by SHDDC supporters' .
Similar is the case in respect of the incident at Noney on November 4, the DGP added.
The statement of the DGP also mentioned that it would be wrong to take the entire state to ransom on unreasonable ground by any group causing untold miseries among the people.
'We have respected the bandh called by UNC by not confronting them except the unavoidable incident at Noney on November 4' .
Appealing to various groups calling bandh or blockade, be it supporters of SHDDC or UNC or Jiribam District Demand Committee to stick to non-violent democratic means of protest only without causing undue suffering to the common people, the DGP noted that the blockade has gone for too long and it is time for all of us to do introspection and think about the common people.