Manipur:  Curfew reimpose in entire Imphal valley after protests for release of 5 men

More than 10 people were injured on Thursday when security forces fired tear gas shells on protesters................

IMPHAL-  Curfew was reimposed in entire Imphal valley after the valley witnessed protests by self-styled vigilante groups including ‘Meira Paibis’ who demanded the release of five men, who were arrested earlier this week.

More than 10 people were injured on Thursday when security forces fired tear gas shells on protesters for trying to storm police stations and demanding the unconditional release of the five.

As a precautionary measure, the state government cancelled curfew relaxations in the twin districts of Imphal from 5pm, officials said.

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Responding to a call by six local clubs and Meira Paibis demanding the release of the five village volunteers, hundreds of protesters holding placards and shouting slogans tried to enter the Porompat police station in Imphal East and Singjamei police station and Kwakeithel police outpost in Imphal West district.

However, police and RAF personnel deployed at strategic positions fired several rounds of tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

A protester said, ”We were left with no option but to court arrest as the government failed to release the five village volunteers. If such village volunteers are arrested, who will protect the Meitei villages in the periphery of the hills and the valley Kuki Zo militants.” Similar attempts to enter Mayang Imphal police station in Imphal West district and Andro police station in Imphal East district were also reported.

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The Manipur Police has again warned of stern action against all those who were misusing uniform for their ulterior motives.

The five persons were allegedly indulging in extortion from the general public and were carrying deadly weapons including AK and Insas rifles, which were looted from the police Armory, officials said.

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The police had in July issued stern warning asking people to stop misusing police uniform following reports that armed rioters were wearing the outfit to create mistrust. Some minority groups have been trying to exert pressure on police to release the five men and indulged in vandalism.

A 48-hour bandh has been called by some of these groups but senior police officials made it clear that law will take its own course. Singh is alleged to be a habitual offender and has been jailed six times in the past which included under the National Security Act (NSA), the officials said.


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