SF-public faceoff marks mass court arrest stir, many hurt
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, September 21 2023: Responding to the clarion call given to join mass court arrest agitation to denounce the arrest of five village volunteers by police, large number of people trooped to police stations in different parts of the state, particularly in the two capital districts.

Among the police stations, Singjamei police had a torrid time controlling the mass convergence as people from different directions thronged the station consequently leading to face-off between the security personnel and the public on Thursday and injuries suffered by many after security personnel resorted to unleashing stun grenades and firing of tear gas shells.

From early morning, personnel of Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed around Singjamei Police Station at Kakwa following inputs of large number of people thronging the police station to court arrest.

Around 1:30 pm men and women of various Singjamei localities headed towards Singjamei police station with another group of people from Kakwa Naorem Leikai marching towards Singjamei police station at the same time.

The protestors raised slogans demanding arrest.

As the security personnel tried to stop the agitators, tension escalated resulting in crackdown and injuries suffered by the protestors who were rushed to hospitals in ambulances.

After the women protestors were dispersed from the area, large number of menfolk from various directions rushed to the protest site and started pelting stones towards the RAF personnel.

The protestors also blocked the main road by burning tyres and placing water pipes to block passage of security vehicles.

The stand-off which started from around 2 pm continued till late evening.

As part of the 'mass court arrest' protest announced on Wednesday by Langthabal Kendra Clubs' Co-Ordinating Committee, Langthabal Kendra Meira Paibi Co-Ordinating Committee, All Kongba Road United Clubs' Organisation, Kuraomakhong United Club, Sagolband Apunba Lup and Khurai Ahongei Thangjam Leikai Club and Meira Paibi to denounce non-release of five village volunteers even after imposition of a 48-bandh, hundreds of protestors attempted to stormed their nearest police stations across the valley on Thursday, resulting in tense stand-off between security forces and the people.

In accordance with the clarion call of the aforementioned bodies, protestors started gathering around noon on Thursday and thronged their nearest police stations at around 1 pm, demanding that they be arrested as well.

Security forces fired tear gas shells, smoke bombs and also fired in the air to disperse the crowd, while the protestors pelted stones and used slingshots in retaliation.

Both sides suffered many injuries.

Large numbers of central forces were deployed early morning around the Police stations.

Barricades and barb wires were also set up as part of security measures.

In Imphal West district, personnel of Rapid Action Force (RAF), Imphal West district police and Imphal West Women PS stood guard as a large crowed from Uripok, Thangmeiband, Sagolband, Wahengbam Leikai, Iroisemba, Lamphel and Langol came out to the streets to court arrest.

As the protestors tried to move towards the PS, they were intercepted by police and as such, they squatted on.

the road, resulting in a stand off.

Similar protests were also carried out in front of Wangoi PS and Mayang Imphal PS.

Although the scuffle between the police and the protestors intensified, no tear gas shells were fired.

Protestors also marched towards Sekmai PS but the CRPF and police personnel deployed at the station fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

Protestors attempting to throng Imphal PS and Patsoi PS were met with tear gas shells fired by personnel of the respective stations and had to disperse.

In Thoubal district, a large number of Meira Paibis from various areas under the jurisdiction of Yairipok PS attempted to throng the PS at around 1pm.The protest remained largely peaceful and the personnel of Yairipok PS locked the main gate and stayed inside.

The protestors latter approached and shook the gate but did not escalate any further In Imphal East district, a large number of Meira Paibis and youths of Andro AC gathered at Thambalnu Keithel at around 11am and took put a peaceful rally till Andro PS at Ngariyan Chingkhong, where they attempted to surrender to the PS.

The protestors were, however, intercepted by Andro PS police personnel including women police in front of the first gate of the PS.

Protestors also attempted to throng Heingang PS.

Police fired several tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

The injured individuals were taken to the nearest health centres.

Meanwhile, a large number of protestors from Top Khongnangkhong thronged towards Porompat PS along DC road around 1.30 pm.

After the crowd reached Kongpal Thongkhong, personnel of Imphal East district police, RAF and CAPF tried to block them but failed.

As such, the security forces fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

The protestors retaliated by pelting stones and using slingshots.

As the protestors tried to throng the PS till late afternoon, security forces continued to fire tear gas shells into the night.

Another group of protestors from Khurai-Ayangpalli road also attempted to throng Porompat PS but were intercepted at Porompat Traffic point.

As the crowd continued to move forward slowly despite having tear gas shells fire at them, police selected some leaders from the group for talks.

The protestors refused to budge and sat down on the road leading to JNIMS near Modern College.

On the other hand, a large number of protestors from Kongba-Ayangpalli road and Ananda Higher Secondary Crossing thronged towards Porompat PS and squatted in the middle of the road, which was around 100 metres from Porompat Traffic point.

At around 3 pm, the stand-off between the protestors from Kongba-Ayangpalli road and the police escalated, with the police firing tear gas shells at the crowd and the protests retaliating by pelting stones.

Security forces continued to fire tear gas shells late into the night to prevent the protestors from gathering.

As many were injured, they were taken to JNIMS hospital for treatment.

The police, however, did not fire at the protestors sitting on the road from Porompat Crossing to JNIMS.

Protestors also attempted to surrender to Lamlai PS and Sagolmang PS.

Although a stand-off ensued between the protestors and police, no tear gas shells were fired and no injuries reported.

Meanwhile, a large crowd thronged Irilbung PS as part of the 'mass court arrest' agitation on Thursday.

After the protestors began pelting stones and using slingshots against the police, the central forces and police personnel of the station fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

However, as the number of protestors continued to swell, additional forces arrived in the area and fired tear gas shells and blank rounds to drive away the crowd.

The PS suffered some damages and injuries were reported from both sides.

In Kakching district, protestors attempted to throng Wangoo PS and Kakching PS .

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