Unruly crowds turn violent; officials, CDOs on the receiving end

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IMPHAL, July 22: Two state commando vehicles were set ablaze by violent mobs during two unrelated cases of crowd violence in the state today.

In the first incident, supporters of the 48 hour Muslim dominated areas bandh called by the JAC formed against the alleged killing of one Neiyimuddin during the recent Sora controversy turned violent at Hatta Minuthong traffic point area and set ablaze a Police Commando Gypsy this morning.

The second crowd violence related incident occurred just in front of the 69th CRPF battalion at Mantripukhri along the National Highway No 2.

The JAC had called a 48 hour bandh in all Muslim dominated areas demanding appropriate punishment for all police personnel and cdos involved in the alleged killing of Neiyimudin.

The bandh disturbed normal life in most Muslim dominated areas of the state, with bandh supporters burning tyres and placing heavy objects along the Hatta Golapatti area.

Today around 8am, bandh supporters at the Hatta Minuthong traffic point overpowered a Maruti Gypsy allotted to Imphal East police commandos bearing regd number MN 01-K 8100 and set it on fire.

The CDO team had been positioned to check the bandh supporters.

On getting information about the incident, a heavy team of the district police rushed to the area and managed to retrieve the vehicle before it was completely burnt.

Police also had to fire some rounds of tear gas shells and mock bombs to control and disperse the bandh supporters and pulled up several of the bandh supporters.

Meanwhile, it is also claimed that some of the bandh supporters were injured in the police action.

Later, a team of Imphal East police led by Angam Kamei Superintendent of Police Imphal East rushed to the area and took stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, the large number of police deployed in the area following the incident ensured that no one ventured out of their respective residence in order to check the situation from deteriorating further.

In the second incident, an official team led by Imphal East Deputy Commissioner RK Dinesh and other officials of the Settlement and Land Records were pelted stones at Mantripukhri by the locals who were protesting against the acquisition of land for the construction of a Reserve Bank of India at the area adjoining the Muslim Colony and Thakur Bali along the National Highway 2.

The incident occurred in front of the 69 CRPF battalion.The locals later overpowered one of three police commandos’ Gypsy and set it ablaze.

Early this morning, the team led by the DC along with a combined team of Imphal East and West district police commandos had gone to the site for measurement meant for the construction of the bank but a large section of the local population  came out to protest.

After the official team continued to go on with the measurement process, the angry mob started pelting stones at the officials including the DC. When the police CDOs fired some rounds to disperse the crowd,  it only angered the already violent mob.

The DC had to leave the place following the violent disruption; while the police CDOs and the officials ran inside the CRPF camp to take shelter.

Meanwhile, the mob managed to take control of a Maruti Gypsy bearing regd no MN01 W O357 of the Imphal West police commandos and set it on fire.

It is learnt that several live rounds of tear gas shells and a tear gas launcher were in the Gypsy when it was set ablaze.

Later on, a large number of police personnel led by SPs of the twin districts of Imphal East and West rushed to the area and took control of the situation.

Police fired several rounds of tear gas shells and mock bombs to control the mob who had been blocking the highway, while the mob in return pelted stones at the police.

Meanwhile, police picked up several of the protestors.

The measuring of the site for the RBI was done later at around 2pm by the officials of the settlement directorate amidst a tight security cover.

Police, however continued to be deployed in the area till the filling of this report.

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