Six women injured in police action as protest intensifies against Citizenship Bill
Security arrangement doubled at MLAs, MPs residences
IMPHAL | Feb 10
At least six women were injured as police used tear gas shells and mock bombs against market vendors of Khwairamband Ima Keithel, who were organising road blockade protest demanding the unconditional withdrawal of Citizenship Amendment Bill, this evening.
In support to “one road indefinite mass agitation” of the Manipur Peoples against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC), the womenfolk announced a total shutdown of the market place till February 12 and staged road blockade since yesterday morning causing heavy traffic congestion. The women protestors also spent the night in the middle of the road.
Shops in surrounding areas of the Khwairamband market including Imphal’s main market, Paona and Thangal bazaar, remained shut as a result of total shutdown call.
Police asked the protestors to vacate the protest site by 4 pm in the evening. However, the women protestors did not budge and insisted on continuing their protest resorting the Police firing of tear gas shell and mock bombs were used to disperse the protestors.
During the firing, at least six women protestors were evacuated to Regional Institute of Medical Science (RIMS).
Despite the police crackdown, the women market vendors regrouped and resumed their protest late in the evening.
“We strongly condemned police action. They have no respect for the womenfolk who is like their mothers, sisters. We have sincerely requested them that the protest will be peaceful,” said Thingujam (o) Rani, general secretary, Kwairamband Nupi Keithel Saktam Kanba Lup.
She urged the state both the opposition and ruling parties to take a united stand against the Bill failing which could ignite the entire Manipur.
Meanwhile, security measures have been beefed up in Imphal in the wake of another umbrella body a 36-hour cease work strike called of People’s Alliance Manipur calling from Monday morning.
A large number of security forces including state and CRPF personnel have been deployed in Imphal.
The police department has also ordered for increasing security arrangement at the residence of MLAs and MPs of the state.
Altogether, 10 or five police personnel each headed by an SI/ASI or head constable are detailed for guarding the residence of the elected representatives.
SP Imphal East district, K. Meghachandra, speaking to IFP, said that there was no specific threat to MLAs or MPs but the arrangement is made as a preventive measure citing prevailing situation arising out of the Citizenship Bill. “We cannot take the risk. A mob has no ideology or leader,” he said.
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