Hundreds of students took out a peaceful protest rally in Imphal on Thursday, demanding immediate release of five arrested ATSUM leaders unconditionally.
The protest was organised at Adimjati, Chingmeirong, Imphal, by the All College Tribal Students Union Imphal (ACTSUI), the Manipur University Tribal Students Union (MUTSU), Dhanamanjuri University Tribal Students Union (DUTSU) and the Joint Tribal Secondary School Union (JTSSU).
"More than 500 students from various colleges and universities in Imphal took part in the protest for immediate release of the ATSUM leaders, who were taken into police custody on August 2," ATSUM said.
Five ATSUM leaders were picked up by Imphal West police Tuesday morning ahead of its proposed bandh called to press for tabling and passing of the Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill, 2021 recommended by the Hill Areas Committee (HAC). The five leaders were arrested along with with four other members, who were released on Wednesday.
The arrested leaders included Paotinthang Lupheng from Khomunnom village, Churachandpur; Andria Sinruwang from Unopat village, Chandel district; Khaiminlen Doungel from Hengjang Leimakhong, Kangpokpi district; Marankhai Awungshi from Tashar village, Ukhrul presently staying at Nagaram Imphal and John H Pulamte from Rengkai, Churachandpur district, presently staying at Zone III, National Game Village, Imphal West.
Following the arrest of the ATSUM leaders, ATSUM and its ferating units have imposed an emergency shutdown in all the hills districts.
Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West on Wednesday remanded the arrested five members of All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) in police custody for four days till August 6.
The investigating officer submitted that calling of bandh/blockade or enforcement of bandh/blockade are offences of criminal conspiracy under section 120-A IPC punishable under 120-B(2) IPC and Section 503 and 506 IPC. It shall also amount to commission of offence under Section 141 IPC and punishable under section 143 IPC.
It was alleged that the accused persons have criminally conspired to impose an economic blockade in the hill districts of Manipur and circulated statements/reports which has put many people in fear and disturbed the public peace. It was submitted that the said blockade had wrongfully restrained many persons, including passengers and other commercial vehicles plying in the highways.
The protesting students said they will intensify the protest if the government failed to release the ATSUM leaders immediately.
The ATSUM Information and Publicity also stated that “the bandh called by ATSUM with the support of ANSAM and KSO GHQ and federating units stands still until ATSUM arrested leaders are released unconditionally and ADC HAC Bill 2021 is tabled by the Government of Manipur.”
First published:4 Aug 2022, 12:39 pm
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