Violence erupts as locals charge VDF of killing Rickshaw-puller

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Police firing tear gas shells to dispersed an angry mob at Chairenthong today.
IMPHAL August 16: An irate mob stoned the VDF post located at Chairenthong today morning.

A tussle broke out between the police and the mob which resulted in firing of tear gas and rubber bullets at the said area following the death of a rickshaw driver who wall alleged to have been pushed into Kongba River.

The tussle broke as one Ishad Ahmad, 40, s/o Gulam Ahmad of Khabeishoi a rickshaw driver was allegedly pushed into the river by VDF personnel who were led by an assistant sub-inspector, however, family members of the victim also alleged that police halted the locals and others from trying to save the man at gun-point. The man subsequently drowned, they added.

Meanwhile, police sources have said that Ishad was frisked by VDF personnel near Chairenthong at about 6 am yesterday and seized some illegal SP capsules from him.

It has further added that even as the personnel were trying to questioned him, Ishad managed to flee from the spot and jumped into the river and that his corpse was recovered from near Chairenthong bridge at about 10 am yesterday.

Meanwhile in direct contrast to the police version of the incident, locals of the area have alleged that Ishad was first brutally beaten up and later pushed into the river by the VDF personnel. The locals further protested yesterday by blocking the Imphal-Ukhrul road, but the police managed to disperse the mob. Mob retaliation to the police action also led to the damaged of two police vehicles belonging to Heignang OC and Porompat OC.

Meanwhile, in their continued protest, the Imphal-Ukhrul road and the Imphal-Saikul road were also blocked by the locals starting from early morning today demanding justice and to punish the involved police personnel.

Police tried to negotiate with the protestors, but after all their efforts to arrive to an understanding failed, additional forces of the Imphal east police commandos arrived at the spot and dispersed the agitating mob by firing tear gases, rubber bullets and even resorted to firing in the air.

The tussle lasted till late this evening, however there has been no reports of any injuries during the confrontation till the filling of this report.

Decrying the police action, womenfolk of Khabeisoi, Khumidok ,Chairenthong and Heikrumakhong also staged a sit in protests at their respective localities. Family members of the deceased also participated in the protest at Chairenthong.

A protestor told media persons that Ishad was a daily wage earner and works as a rickshaw puller, he left home yesterday to see the condition of the road. On his way back, he was frisked by VDF personnel and later assaulted. The VDF demanded Rs 20 from him to let him go. After Ishad said that he did not have the amount, he was pushed into the river by the said VDF personnel. The residents of the area also requested the police that Ishad could not swim and to rescue him. The appeal was denied by the VDF and further warned the residents at gunpoint that no one should help him.

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