Crackdowns on protesters greet minister’s site inspection, 22 hurt. High drama unfolded at Yaithibi Loukon today.
People were rallied to welcome the visiting Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs and Sports, Vijay Goel at the site of the proposed National Sports University. Flags welcoming the minister and placards reading “sports university should be built at Yaithibi” waved by the residents who mainly came from Wangjing Tentha area.
On the flip side, just about 200 metres away towards Sora bazaar, police were battling the irate landowners of Yaithibi by firing mock bombs, tear gas shells from the hillocks and hundreds of security personnel including teams of Indian Reserve Battalion were engaged to hold back the protesting crowd.
The villagers of Sora were not allowed to proceed towards Yaithibi area. At least 22 persons were hurt in the police action, among them, 17 were hospitalized.
In the meantime, the Union Minister accompanied by chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and other officials arrived at Yathibi Loukon around midday. As soon as the cavalcade reached, the vehicles all turned around. Sources said it was due to the unpredictable situation at Sora and the constant mob control firings. The Union Minister had a look of the area and the chief minister had apprised him that it was a non-residential area.
However, joint secretary of YAS, Rajvir Singh had intimated the Sports Minister that the area was a low lying area and prone to floods. After hardly 15 minutes, the ministerial team left for Koutruk in Imphal West which is another proposed site for construction of the National Sports University.
Source: Imphal Free Press