IMPHAL, December 11: More than 100 people suspected to be Congress supporters attacked the political convention of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) held at Thoubal Moijing at around 10:30 am today.
The one-day convention organized by Thoubal Kanba Lup and BJP Manipur Pradesh was on Minority Morcha. It was chaired by BJP national vice-president, Dr Najma Heptulla and BJP national general secretary Tapir Gao.
The attackers shouted anti-BJP slogans using loud speakers and pelted stones while the convention was going on in full swing.
Several vehicles parked near the venue were destroyed by the attackers. A personnel of 7th MR who came as a security escort for Najma Heptulla was also injured in the attack.
A team of Thoubal police rushed to the spot to control the mob. The police fired more than 100 rounds including mock bombs and tear gas shells to disperse the attackers.
The convention continued till the end amidst heavy security arrangement.
Meanwhile, speaking to mediapersons after the convention, Dr Najma Heptulla stated that every citizen has the freedom of speech and expression in any democratic setup, but such attack is very much contrary to the democratic norms of the country. The Chief Minister of Manipur should feel ashamed that such undemocratic incident happened in his own constituency, she averred.
This issue would be raised at the Parliament. The convention was a democratic event conducted with necessary permission from the deputy commissioner concerned. However, such undemocratic act carried out by Congress supporters at the behest of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi was condemnable, Najma asserted.
She stated that she has been in active politics for more than 40 years, but she had witnessed such incident for the first time in her political career.
BJP national general secretary, Tapir Gao stated that the attack on the BJP in the constituency of Chief Minister Ibobi is a mockery of democracy in the country.
The Chief Minister should have welcomed the BJP leaders instead of hiring goons to thwart the convention, he noted.
Intending candidate of Thoubal assembly constituency, Oinam Indira stated that the attack on the BJP revealed the impotency of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi. He would not have thought of such undemocratic act if he is strong enough to contest her, she asserted.
The preparatory works of her election campaign were also sabotaged by the goons hired by Chief Minister Ibobi. He is propagating “Goonda Raj” in Thoubal constituency, Indira averred.
The state BJP president, Sh Shantikumar also condemned the attack terming it as an undemocratic act carried out by the loyal supporters of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi who is also in-charge of the state home department.