More than 10 people received injuries after locals objected to staff of SDO Lilong from attempting to measure area for construction of a police outpost at Lilong Chingkham Ching under Lilong Police Station in Thoubal district, resulting in a major scuffle between police and locals, with police firing indiscriminate rounds of tear gas shells and rubber bullets. No casualty has been reported so far.
An enraged mob destroyed the headlights of the car belonging to Lilong assembly constituency MLA Y Antas Khan who came to take stock of the situation.
As per sources, the staff of SDO Lilong attempted to measure the land by deploying security forces at Lilong Chingham Ching around 8 am.
It may be mentioned that Lilong Chingkham Ching has been under a dispute between two communities. As per sources, a large number of protestors from Lilong area stormed the site, showing their objections against the measurement work. To bring the situation under control, Police fired indiscriminate rounds of tear gas shells and rubber bullets. As the situation became worse, additional forces led by IGP Jayenta and Thoubal SP Jogeshchandra Haobijam were sent in for back up, and the situation was finally brought under control at around 10 am. The measurement work was also completed afterwards, sources said.
MLA Lilong assembly constituency had also arrived to personally inspect the situation. The headlights of his car were destroyed by the protestors.
As per sources, over 10 persons received injuries during the clash. Three persons, namely Abdul Barik, son of late Najeruddin of Lilong Chingkham; Malikur, son of Habibur and Alimuddin, son of Atao Rahman of Lilong Ubakthong received serious injuries, sources said.
Meanwhile, spokesperson of Lilong Chingkham Maya Development Organisation Nurul Amin told the media that the locals will never accept the way how the land measurement was carried out all of a sudden without notice by using police forces.
It was truly unfortunate that the measurement was carried out in a clandestine manner when the Court had earlier issued a directive to provide details of the prevailing issue within four weeks, he said. The government must bear responsibility for the injuries given to the civilians by firing of tear gas shells and rubber bullets, he added.
The people cannot help but feel suspicious of how the measurement work was carried out by using heavy security forces, he added. It appears as if such activities were deliberately taken up to cause strife and breed hatred among communities that had been settling together peacefully, he further said.
He appealed to the authorities to release those arrested without any conditions. The government must bring out the facts behind the issue, by holding into account and keeping in consideration all stakeholders in the matter. Otherwise, the government should know that all preparations have been made to launch an intense stir by taking support from civil bodies.
Meanwhile, the All Tribal Rights Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) expressed that it is saddened to learn of the unwanted incident. In a release, ATRPFM appealed all to come to terms as per the law, and urged the Home department to look into the matter and prevent such incidents from happening again.