The ATSUM total shutdown which began peacefully turned violent in Ukhrul as an agitating mob on Thursday midnight set a police vehicle (Maruti gypsy) on fire at Phungreitang in the heart of Ukhrul headquarters.
The fire partially damaged the vehicle as the Ukhrul fire brigade swiftly rushed to the spot and doused the fire from further spreading and damaging the vehicle.
Sources told the Imphal Free Press that the vehicle was burnt during a brief confrontation that broke out between a mob and personnel of the 6th Manipur Rifles.
No casualties and injuries were reported during the confrontation.
While the bandh supporters and volunteers gathered near Ukhrul fire brigade located at Phungreitang and burned tyres around 11.10 pm, they reportedly heard several rounds being fired from inside the 6th Manipur Rifles campus.
It is said that the blank fires in the air could have been made in an attempt to disperse the mob.
This angered the mob which alleged that the security forces targeted them and demanded the officers of Manipur Rifles to disclose those responsible for the firing, following which a brief confrontation reportedly ensued between the two sides.
Ukhrul police, however, had nothing to do with the confrontation, the sources added.
Following the confrontation, a police team arrived at the scene only to control the situation.
“We came only to control and calm the situation; however, much to our surprise the mob suddenly directed their anger towards the police and set the maruti gypsy, which was parked near the fire brigade gate, on fire,” a police officer said.
The vehicle which was set on fire by the mob was the lone vehicle allotted to the Ukhrul police station, the police officer informed.
In connection with the incident, a suo moto case bearing 21(08-2022)/UKL/PS/ has been registered at the Ukhrul police station.
Meanwhile, the indefinite emergency shutdown called by the ATSUM in hill districts of Manipur has paralysed normal lives of the general public, especially the daily wage earners.
In the meantime, TKS in its statement issued on Thursday stated that the bandh was extended till 6 am of Friday and will be continued in the form of indefinite economic blockade and picketing of government offices.
It also expressed its gratitude to the general public for their cooperation and further sought their support for the rights of the tribal communities.