Imphal: Violent protest jolted Manipur on Friday despite curfew clamped by the authorities to tackle the protest which broke after a student was killed in police firing on Wednesday during a march demanding stringent law to tackle the influx of immigrants in the state.
Violating the curfew, people in some parts of the town took to the streets and put up blockades to stop movement of vehicles and people. The police fired tear gas to disperse protestors in some areas.
“The situation is still tense but totally under control. We are able to maintain law and order situation but curfew is still clamped,” Manipur Special Director General of Police Santosh Macherla told a news agency over phone.
“Protests are still continuing in some parts of Imphal. As long as they are protesting peacefully, we are not disturbing them but we have acted against them in certain areas as they turned violent”, Macherla said.
Six Joint Committee of Inner Line Permit (JCILPS) leaders have been arrested by the Manipur Police for violating the curfew order.
Normal life has come to standstill and operations at various hospitals have been cancelled. Emergency services have also been affected as ambulances were not able to traverse since the protestors under the banner of JCILPS have blocked the roads with burning tyres and wooden planks fitted with nails.
JCILPS had launched a stir demanding the implementation of the British-era Inner Line Permit (ILP) system to regulate entry of outsiders into the state.
Inner Line Permit is an official travel document issued by the central government to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/restricted area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indian citizens, not residents of those states, to obtain a permit for entering the restricted areas.
Early this year, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh introduced the ‘Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tenants and Migrant Workers’ Bill 2015 in the assembly to safeguard the interests of the indigenous people of the state.
However, JCILPS said the bill was protecting the interests of immigrants rather than the indigenous people of Manipur.
Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee, an umbrella body of social organisations constituted following the killing of Sapam Robinhood, a student from Ananda Singh Academy Higher Secondary School, on Wednesday by the state police during the protest march demanding the implementation of the Inner Line Permit, refused to claim the body.
“Sapam Robinhood has sacrificed his priceless life for the people of the state. We will not claim his body unless the government endorsed the demands made by the JCILP,” JAC Convener, Raghubir Salam said.
Calling the Congress-led government under Chief Minister Okram Ibobi a “criminal government who killed students”, Salam warned the government of further intensifying the agitation until the demands are met.