IMPHAL, April 19: Unrest in the state over the alleged rape of a 13 year old by a local on April 17, intensifies this morning with the formation of a JAC in connection with the death of an agitator yesterday in police firing.
The JAC has today demanded the termination of the Sekmai Police officer in charge and his team who were responsible for the firing incident, leading to the death of Tilak Poudyal, who was amongst a mob blocking the National Highway no 2 at Kanglatongbi area, against the rape of the minor.
Around 7.30pm during the protest at Kanglatongbi on Friday, Tilak Poudyal was caught by the police and shot with a small arm twice from very close range, claimed Pradeep Rizal, president of the All Manipur Gorkha Students’ Union.
Decrying the double incident, people along the Imphal-Mao stretch of the National Highway No 2 came out at different places to block the highway.
Around 2pm today, protestors damaged a Tata Magic and a Gypsy for defying the road block at Tejbari, Kanglatongbi. Following the incident, IRB reinforcement arrived at the scene while a team of commandos had arrested six of the protestors. People were seen blocking the highway at Sekmai Nongthonband, Kanglatongbi, Shantipur and Kalapahar areas. However, vehicles of security forces were allowed to pass though the tensed areas. Passengers and loaded trucks ferrying along the route remain stranded at safe places.
People of the Gorkha community were seen burning tyres on the road and shifting rock boulders to block the highway.
Meanwhile, a huge gathering of various communities residing in the area was convened this morning at the Kanglatongbi Government High School and discussed on the further steps of agitation.
The meeting demanded a judicial inquiry into the two incidents; termination of the Sekmai Police OC and his team; proper compensation to the family of Tilak Poudyal; provision of proper security to the Gorkha community in the state and if the demands are not met, the family and the JAC will not accept the body of Tilak Poudyal, informed chairman of the JAC Kharka Bahadur.
He added if in case the government fail to initiate any step in order to fulfil the demands by April 21, the JAC, supported by the public will launched several forms of agitation from 4pm of the same day, he said.
Meanwhile, Pradeep Rizal, president of the All Manipur Gorkha Students’ Union that was spearheading yesterday’s agitation along the highway told media persons today that the agitation was launched under the aegis of the student body since late yesterday evening after the police failed to meet their demand for booking of the accused in the rape of the minor by 6pm of Friday.
The student body was supported by several other civil society organisations and the public of the Kanglatongbi area, he said.
The Pradhan of the area had informed the Sekmai police that the student body has initiated a peaceful agitation without any violence, however, when the Sekmai police team on reaching the Kanglatongbi Bridge near the Chil-Chil Mission Higher Secondary School fired several tear gas shells and rubber bullets to a group of protestors around the area around 7pm, he said.
He also charged that the police team had fired some live bullets in between the tear gas shells.
Around 7.30pm, Tilak Poudyal was caught by the police and shot with a small arm twice from very close range, he alleged.
There others sustained bullet injuries on his chest and leg, he claimed.
Praveen identified that Bhim Sutar Karki, 43, son of Sheer Bahadur Karki of Kanglatombi is presently at the ICU of the Raj Polyclinic after undergoing operation on his chest, while Hemant Bahadur, 30, of Hatikhuwa, Kanglatongbi has been discharged after treatment on his leg and several women protestors were also .
He further alleged that the protestors have collected several empty cartridges of fired bullets and five live rounds of AK-47, Insas rifle and 9 MM pistol.
The All Manipur Gorkha Students’ Union was conducting democratic forms of agitation, but now that our activist has been killed, we will now launch various forms of agitation, unless the demands are met at the earliest, he strongly asserted.
Kangpokpi police trying to break away the protestors blocking the highway fired several tear gas shells and mock bombs injuring more than 10 women protestors, informed a source.
All the injured protestors have been admitted at the Catholic Hospital, Kangpokpi.
It may be mentioned that a thirteen year old school girl was allegedly raped by 65 year old taking advantage of the 16th LS poll day on April 17. Following revelation of the young girl about the incident, an agitation erupted at various places leading to the death of a youth in police firing.
Meanwhile, locals of Mantripukhri staged a sit in protest at the local community hall decrying the incidents.