`Day 2: Collateral damage`

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IMPHAL, December 23: Atleast three vehicles were set ablaze at different places in and around Imphal, as violence broke out during the course of the second day of the general strike called against the Chandel incident.

This morning at around 11:30 am, a Maruti 800 car bearing registration number MN-06L-2156 was torched by protesters near to Patsoi Police Station. General strike supporters burned down another Maruti 800 car, bearing registration number MN-06L-2156 at Khurai Salanthong in Imphal East at the same timing of 11.30 am.  Police later dropped the four passengers, who were in the car at Keithelmanbi.

In another incident, a bus which left Imphal after being escorted by police, was severely damaged by strike supporters who torched it this afternoon at around 1:30 at Nongada under Lamlai police station.

About 20 vehicles carrying passengers going to Ukhrul from Imphal who were being escorted by a team of police led by SDPO Lamlai, Officer-in-Charge of Lamlai police station and Officer-in-Charge of CDO Yaingangpokpi were also attacked by pelting stones by the strike supporters.  The strike supporters set ablaze some portion of the last bus, but it was saved from major damage by the locals of the area. Later, the police escorted them till Gwaltabi.

On their way back, the SDPO led escort team found a pit about one and half feet long and one foot deep into the ground at the back side of Phouhoibi Bridge located at the adjoining area between Lamlai and Chalou making the road unsafe and unfit for vehicles to ply on.

Meanwhile, the SDO office at Laipham Khunou was set ablaze by unidentified persons this afternoon at around 12 pm. Some office files were lost in the fire, said an official source.

Additionally, police fired tears shells and rubber bullets at Checkon, Lamlong, Chingmeirong, Kakwa, Chajing, Kwakeithel and Konung Mamang,to disperse the strike supporters. The general strike was also effective at Yairipok, Wangjing, Athokpam, Haokha Kiyam and Waithou, with strike supporters blocking the road and burning tyres.

Further, the windshield of one 407 Tata truck of Churanchandpur district was also damaged when protestors pelted stones on the vehicles passing Khurai Lairikyengbam Leikai. Meanwhile, local roads leading to the Imphal-Moreh were blocked in many parts of the National Highway by burning tyres, putting broken glass and obstructing the roads with stone boulders or logs.

A rally was also taken out along the National Highway road by the angry bandh supporters from Kakwa upto the Singjamei bazaar where they shouted slogans like `we want justice`, `punish Livingstone`, `resign CM and Home minister`. A similar kind of protest rally was also held along the Singjamei to Kongba road and covering a large part of the Bramhapur area. The Meira Paibi group of the Bramhapur Nahabam leikai also staged a sit in protest.

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