Northeast

30 protesting students injured in police action over ATSUM leaders arrest

Manipur Police foiled students’ attempt to hold protest, demanding the immediate release of arrested ATSUM leaders.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 8 Aug 2022, 4:23 am

(Photo: Thomas Ngangom_IFP)
(Photo: Thomas Ngangom_IFP)

 

The All College Tribal Students’ Union Imphal failed to demonstrate a protest on Saturday in Imphal as they were dispersed by Manipur Police with tear gas shells, during which as many as 30 protesters and three police personnel sustained injuries in a confrontation which ensued.

The All College Tribal Students’ Union Imphal demanded the release of the arrested five All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) leaders and decried the lockdown of ATSUM head office.

The student body had issued a notification on Friday, stating that the members of Tribal Students Union of all the colleges and Joint Tribal Students Union of all the higher secondary schools in Imphal are to support the protest in connection with the demands.

atsum(PHOTO: Thomas Ngangom_IFP)

The notification also mentioned that executive members of the Tribal Students Union who fail to turn up will be fined a sum of Rs 1,000. The reporting time and venue mentioned in the notification was at 10 am on Saturday at Adimjati BasketBall court.

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Manipur police personnel began securing the Adimjati campus early Saturday as a preventive measure to prevent social gatherings.

Imphal West DC had also issued an order to impose CrPC 144 in the entire area of Imphal West district with effect from 6.30 pm on Thursday.

At around 9.30 am, protesters started gathering at Mao-Imphal Market, Kabow Leikai near MBC church which is located around 100 metres south of Adimjati, Imphal.

On the sideline of the gathering, Social and Cultural secretary of Tribal Students’ Union, DM colleges of Arts Ningjam Jajo told the media that whenever issues of Tribal communities come up in Manipur, the state government would arrest the tribal leaders.

India is a land of democracy and every citizen has the right to express their thoughts and expressions, he said.  On Friday, more than hundreds of protesters came and locked down the head office of ATSUM located at Adimjati while DC, Imphal West has already imposed CrpC 144 in the entire district, he said.

“Where were the police personnel and what happened to the rules and regulations of the Indian constitution? Why did the police personnel disappear when hundreds of protesters came and locked down the head office of ATSUM?” he questioned.

Tribal students will continue their protests until the arrested ATSUM leaders are released, he further said, warning that the state government should bear the consequences.  

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Around 10 am, an additional force of Manipur police rushed to the spot and demanded the protesters to produce permission for social gathering from the officials concerned. As they could not produce the permission, the police started dispersing them. A confrontation ensued between police personnel and the protesters, following which the police personnel hurled tear gas shells toward the protester in a bid to bring the situation under control.

The protester then tried to head towards Manipur Legislative Assembly road and near the opposite side of Manipur Legislative Assembly gate number 1 but they were blocked by police, following which they headed towards Dewlahland opposite to Mao-Imphal market.

As the police personnel tried to disperse them, the protesters started pelting stones towards the police personnel. The Manipur Police also retaliated with stones and tear gas shells along with mock bombs.

During the clash, at least 30 protesters sustained injuries as the police resorted to lathi charge. Around 3 police personnel also received minor injuries. Police detained at least three protesters who were later set free.

Meanwhile, one of the leaders of a tribal students’ body in social media mentioned that the locking of head office of ATSUM by Meitei Leepun will be taken as a direct challenge to the tribal communities of Manipur. The demands of tribal students are not to accuse any community of Manipur but to demand constitutional rights.

In a video clip, it is further alleged that “the locking of ATSUM head office was conducted in conspiracy with the state government.”

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First published:6 Aug 2022, 4:43 pm

Tags:

tribal studentsstudents protestatsum leaders arrestpolice atrocities

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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