IMPHAL, August 10: In a Sadar Hills district demand agitation related incident at least seven strike supporters sustained injuries when security personnel fired tear gas shells and mock bombs, in an attempt to disperse a road block staged at Gwaltabi village along the National Highway-150 (Imphal-Ukhrul road) under Lamlai police station.
The incident occurred today morning around 10 am when villagers of Simom, Jalbung Molnom and Gwaltabi in support of the strike of the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) staged a road block of the NH-150 near Gwalthabi village since early this morning.
On receiving reports of the disturbances along the National Highway, a team of Imphal East district police led by its additional SP Imphal East rushed to the area.
After several futile attempts for negotiation with the protestors the police team was later compelled to use force against the protestors to disperse them.
The team fired several rounds in the air besides firing tear gas shell, mock bomb leaving seven protestors injured including women.
The fracas along the NH disrupted traffic for about several hours since 7 am in the morning. However it was neutralized at around 10:30 am.
While talking to media persons at the incident spot, SDPO Lamlai, informed that heavy security measures comprising of state forces and Assam Rifles personnel have been beefed up at Gwalthabi area to prevent any more unwanted incidents along NH-150.
On the other hand, showing solidarity to the demand of SHDDC to declare Sadar hills into a full fledged district, today a mass sit in protest demonstration was also staged at Kanghcup. Over thousands villagers including school students took part in the protest.
Speaking at the protest site, a woman stated that the demand of the SHDDC is not an attempt to disintegrate Manipur at nor is it meant for a single community.
The Sadar hills people have been demanding districthood since 1972. During the last four decades several lives have been lost during the agitation for districthood of Sadar hills, however the consecutive governments have remained indifferent to the hue and cry of the people, she lamented.
The protest was attended by at least 16 villages residing in an around Kangchup area. It was jointly organized by KSO, Kangchup, Kangchup Area Tribal Youth Organisation, Kangchup Area Women Human Rights, Kuki Innpi Kangchup and Kanchup area Kuki Chief Association.