Churachandpur violence: Fresh clashes as rioters torch Manipur CM's event site, internet ban imposed for 5 more days
The ban on internet services in Manipur’s violence-hit Churachandpur was extended to five more days while prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC remain in force after fresh clashes erupted between protesters and police forces on Friday after the rioters torched an event site where Chief Minister N Biren Singh was scheduled to aqdress a meeting earlier in the day.
As per reports, security personnel baton-charged the protesters and also fired tear smoke shells and rubber bullets to disperse the them as clashes amid a shutdown called by Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) against the government’s decision to evict Kuki villagers from protected forests in the tribal-dominated Churachandpur district.
Following the clashes prohibitory orders were clamped in the Churachandpur district and internet services snapped.
An order issued by the Manipur Home department said: To prevent any disturbance to the peace and order the suspension of mobile internet services shall be in force for the next five days with immediate effect in Churachandpur and Pherzawl districts.”
Some reports have claimed that several protesters were killed and injured in police action, however, no official confirmation has come out yet.
On Friday, protesters clashed with the police at Sadbhavna Mandap in New Lamka in the district where CM N Biren Singh was scheduled to address a public meeting. However, the event was called off following the shutdown call and the protests.
Earlier in the day, clashes erupted between demonstrators and police at Sadbhavna Mandap in New Lamka in Churachandpur district, the venue where Chief Minister N Biren Singh was scheduled to address a public meeting.
Reports quoting police sources said the demonstrators hurled stones at forces’ personnel who responded with tear gas shelling and rubber bullet and baton charges in New Lamka, Tuibong Bazaar, Sielmat bridge, Lanva bridge and T Champhai areas, among others.
CM Biren Singh was scheduled to throw open an open gym at PT Sports complex and address a public meeting in New Lamka town, however, a large mob stormed the event spot on Thursday and set ablaze around 100 chairs and other items.
Following the incident the local MLA, who had invited the chief minister, postponed the event.
Talking to reporters, the chief minister lashed out at the ITLF for the bandh call and questioned thier the “indigenousness”…. “What indigenous people? We are indigenous people. Nagas are indigenous people. Kukis are indigenous people. What indigenous tribal?”