Hundreds of enraged protesters from the Leikot area in Kangpokpi district demanded stringent action against the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Manipur for allegedly injuring a person with gun shots during a sit-in protest held at Damdei Taloulong on Tuesday.
The sit-in-protest was held against the alleged BJYM's unlawful action against a drug peddler whom they allegedly injured with a bullet on September 16 at around 4:30 pm at K Orphanage village.
Enraged over the incident, people of the Leikot area staged a protest, demanding an apology and cleaning of the village area as per the Kuki customary law.
According to the Kuki customary law, anyone who sheds blood must apologise by performing 'Toltheh' (cleaning of the village or area).
According to Lhingneikim Kipgen, on September 16 afternoon at around 4:30, BJYM executives stopped her son Mangminsei Kipgen at Kanglatongbi Orphanage near the War Cemetery and shot him twice in his left leg, accusing him of carrying contraband tablets.
The mother of Mangminsei Kipgen, who is currently in police custody in Gamnom Saparmeina Police Station with a bullet injury, alleged that the BJYM executives led by its president Barish Sharma came in three vehicles and committed the act.
She, however, said that the BJYM had on September 17 reported in the news that her son was also carrying a small arm (pistol) which is totally false and baseless.
She also clarified that her son does not have the capacity to buy such a small arm and he also has no nexus with any arm group or gang.
"Militants, drug peddlers, etc. are nabbed and put behind the bar by the authorities concerned but they are not injured in such a way that my son was by the BJYM," the mother added.
Leikot Area Youth Organization president Mangjangam Kipgen, who is also a member of the anti-drugs campaign in the Leikot area, said that everyone can be a source of information on the war on drugs but all are not authorised to take law into their own hands.
"We are not against the war on drugs but totally against such gun culture by unauthorized agencies or authorities like the BJYM," he said and demanded that “BJYM must apologize according to the customary law at the earliest".
Chungson, chief of K Orphanage, said that firing in a place where many destitute innocent children are residing is totally unacceptable and the culprits must tender an apology as per the customary law since the incident occurred within the jurisdiction of my village.
The enraged protesters held banners and placards which read, "Sit-in Protest against BJYM unlawful activities", "Sit-in-Protest against the failure of state police to nab gun toting BJYM activists", "Stop gun culture", "We are not against war on drugs, we are against gun culture", "Is BJYM above the law?", "BJYM-arm wing of Government agencies", etc.