Thoubal bandh turns violent as public clash with police; six cars damaged, supporter injured in police firing

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THOUBAL, June 11: Supporters of the 24-hour Thoubal district bandh called against putting up of sign-boards inscribed Chandel inside Thoubal district, took down all such signboards appearing between Kakching Lamkhai and Pallel, here today.

Around six four-wheelers were also damaged along Kakching to Pallel stretch of the Imphal-Moreh Highway.

On the other hand, police also resorted to firing tear gas shells to ward off bandh supporters at several places. A bandh supporter was also injured in the police firing.

Though the bandh failed to disturb other parts of the district, it largely affected the area from Kakching to Pallel.

Kakching Bazar, Kakching Lamkhai Bazar and Pallel Bazar were closed for the day.

Bandh supporters were witnessed coming out in droves since early morning and imposing road blocks at Kakching Lamkhai and Pallel.

Around 11am, police tried to block bandh supporters from using loudspeakers for publicity, which resulted in a clash between the two groups.

Police fired tear gas shells and smoke bombs to disperse the crowd of bandh supporters.

Following the development, a huge contingent of the district police led by SP Radheshyam, addl SP Dr S Ibomcha and including SDPOs Kakching and Sugunu along with Kakching Municipal Council chairperson Ksh Subadani Devi and vice chairperson Y Nando arrived at the scene and spoke with the bandh supporters.

Even as the negotiation was underway, bandh supporters attacked and damaged a passing car, which resulted in the police firing tear gas shells and smoke bombs for a second time.

During the ensuing melee, Konsam Arunkumar, 36, son of (L) Achouba, of Sumak Leikai, Kakching was hit by a tear gas shell on his leg.

He was rushed to the Jeevan Hospital Kakching, but was referred to Shija Hospital after his condition remained critical.

Meanwhile, a press release of the Joint Non-Government Voluntary Organisation, Kakching has said in a press release said that certain new dwellers put up sign-boards written Chandel at places which is in Thoubal district.

This had not only alarmed the public of the district, but also created a sense of disunity among the different communities, it said before adding that condemning such actions the bandh was called.

It continued that a district is inhabited by different communities however, one cannot erect a signboard of another district just because he or she wants to.

The organisation had appealed to all concerned including the State government to take down all such signboards, however, there had been no positive response from all concerned, it said.

The statement further continued that on June 4, the organisation had even set a June 10 deadline for the State to take down all such signboards.

It is unfortunate that in such a juncture, around 200/300 individuals claiming themselves to be members of the All Laiching Village Authority Action Committee had devastated tree plantation at the Kakching Mamangching on May 21.

The government has however, continued to remain silent on the issue without trying to bring an amicable solution between the two groups, it said.

 

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