IMPHAL, Sept 6: At least 56 women protestors of Sadar Hills were injured and 11 protestors were reportedly arrested by 43 Assam Rifles while nine trucks were set on fire by women protestors today at Kangpokpi.
The incident happened shortly after the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee made its announcement for the suspension of general strike from Sadar Hills area today evening.
According to reports, women protestors at Kangpokpi set ablaze at least nine trucks escorted by a convoy of 43 Assam Rifles around 5 pm this evening. At least four trucks were completely destroyed during the arson, the report said.
Following the attack, the Assam Rifles personnel carried out a baton charge on the protestors wherein at least 56 women protestors were injured. Of the 56 injured victims 20 were reportedly hospitalized in serious condition at Kangpokpi Mission Hostel while 36 were hospitalized at CHC Kangpokpi.
At the same time, at least 11 protestors both man and woman, were reportedly taken into custody by the AR personnel.
On the other hand, The Sadar hills districthood demand committee (SHDDC), has alleged the 43 Assam Rifles under the command of its commanding officer of conducting business of escorting civilian vehicles.
A statement issued by Tonghen Kipgen, general secretary, the SHDDC alleged that a convoy of 43 AR led by its CO and Major Anish Kutoch, this evening around 5 pm tried to escort civil trucks.
The women protestors at Kangpokpi stopped the vehicle and conducted verification wherein they found out only 5 vehicles were genuine, on army duty, while the rest were civilian trucks escorted for money alleged the secretary.
A commotion broke out on the issue from both side (AR and protestors) and the enraged protestors set ablaze some of the trucks. The AR conducted indiscriminate baton charge on the women protestors injuring at least 56 women.
He said that the SHDDC has been seriously considering withdrawal of its general strike, blockade and other forms of agitation phase wise however amidst this the 43 AR under the command of its CO, has hurt the sentiment of the people badly by creating havoc.
In view of the excessiveness of the AR the SHDDC is reconsidering its decision of suspending the general strike, said Tonghen adding a meeting has been convened tomorrow at Kangpokpi.
He further asserted that earlier during the day the state police department has sent at 4 vehicles of woman police however they were chased by the protestors and currently taking shelter at Gamnom Sapermeina police station.
“All these incidents have been conspired by the government” further alleged Tonghen.
He demand the police department to withdraw the vehicles of the woman police by tomorrow failing which it warned to attack the Sapermeina police station. Strongly condemning the excessiveness meted out by the AR personnel, Tonghen reminded the AR that they are deployed solely for combating insurgency problem where as the Sadar Hills is a political issue.
He further asked the AR to tender an apology besides giving necessary compensation as per the customary law of Kuki and at the same time release the 11 arrested protestors within 24 hours failing which its warned to trigger intense forms of movement.