Police stations stormed as many court arrest
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal/Thoubal, September 21 2023: Expressing anguish over the non-release of the five 'village volunteers' even after the imposition of a 48 hour bandh, hundreds of protesters stormed different police stations today courting arrest.

The five persons were arrested by police on September 16 from Kongba area on the charges that they were impersonating commandos and carrying looted arms and ammunition.

The protesters stormed police stations at Yairipok, Nongpok Sekmai, Andro, Kakching, Wangoo and in Imphal East and Imphal West and asked the police to arrest them too if the five persons couldn't be released.

Many persons were injured as protesters clashed with police in multiple areas of Imphal East and Imphal West while houses of two officers at Manipur police were partly destroyed by miscreants.

Police stations stormed as many court arrest
Police stations stormed as many court arrest

In the twin Imphal city, a large number of people gheraoed Singjamei police station, Porompat police station, Irilbung police station, Heingang police station, Kwakeithel police outpost, Wangoi police station, Lamlai police station and Sekmai police station demanding unconditional release of the 'village volunteers' .

Heated arguments broke out between police and protesters in front of Heingang police station, Singjamei police station and Porompat police station after the latter tried to enter the police stations, following which police and RAF personnel fired several rounds of tear gas shells and mock bombs to disperse the protesters.

Following the crowd control exercise, the protesters blocked several road stretches by placing heavy objects and burning tyres.

The protesters also pelted stones toward the police personnel.

Many persons were injured in the confrontation and they have been admitted at Singjamei PHC, JNIMS, Raj Medicity, RIMS and other private hospitals in Imphal.

The confrontation continued along Singjamei to Manipur University main gate stretch, Ayangpali road, JNIMS road, Kwakeithel, Kongpal and some other places till the time of filing this report.

Amid the chaos, some miscreants stormed the residence of Inspector Sanathoi who is the Officer in Charge of Singjamei police station at Singjamei Thongam Leikai and destroyed household properties kept at the ground floor of the house at around 3 pm.

The miscreants were dispersed after a team of Manipur police led by DIG N Herojit rushed to the spot.

Around one hour later, another group of masked miscreants came in two four wheeler vehicles and broke the main gate of DSP N Ingocha who is the Officer in-Charge of Imphal police station at Heirangoithong Maibam Leikai.

The miscreants fled from the area after vandalising some windows, the main door and some other items kept at the khola of the house.

Accoridng to a witness, one vehicle fled towards Heirangoithong side and the other towards Manipur University.

Reportedly, none of the family members or the caretakers were at the houses during the time of the incidents.

In Bishnupur, womenfolk stoned Moirang police station with a demand to release the 'village volunteers', to which police requested the protesters to wait until they (the arrested persons) are produced before the Court tomorrow.

By the sideline, Moirang Kendra Apunba Meira Paibi Ima Lup (MAMPIL) president K Padmabati said that they will not return until the 'village volunteers' are freed.

Treating the village volunteers as terrorists is highly objectionable and against the interest of the people, she added.

The Yairipok police station, on the other hand, was stormed at around 1 pm by hundreds of womenfolk but they didn't engage in any violent activities.

As the police station was locked from inside, the protesters stood outside the main gate and raised slogans to imprison them too if the 'village volunteers' couldn't be released.

Speaking to the media, secretary of All Yairipok Apunba Ima Lup Maibam Matouleibi said that the Government turning against the village volunteers who came out to safeguard the State's integrity is uncalled for.

Kuki militants have been attacking Meetei villages since May 3 using bombs and sophisticated weapons but none of the aggressors have been arrested so far, she claimed.

Hundreds of people, mostly womenfolk from different localities of Andro also stormed Andro police station in Imphal East at around 11 am and asked the police to arrest them.

The protesters were stopped by personnel of Andro police near the first gate of the police station for a brief period before allowing them to head upto the main gate of the station where they chanted slogans against the arrest of 'village volunteers' .

Speaking to the media, president of Apunba Nupi Khunnai Lamjing Meira Lup Yairipok, Ibetombi Leima asked how the people will live if the Government is not going to allow the 'villagers' to defend their villages from the onslaught of Kuki militants.

It is the failure of the Government which compelled the villagers to come out in the first place and stand against Kuki militants, she said.

There is no respite in Kuki aggression even today while the Kuki MLAs are routinely meeting Mizoram Chief Minister and other leaders to plan their future course of action, she claimed and added that the Governments at the Centre and the State, however, haven't arrest any from the Kuki side for taking illegal tax and engaging in other unlawful activities.

Is the law applicable only to Meeteis, she asked. Nongpok Sekmai, Kakching, Lamlai and Wangoo police stations were also stormed by hundreds of women.

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