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Manipur Violence : Protesters Defy Curfew, Over 40 Injured In Police Crackdown

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IMPHAL, Sept 6: More than 40 people, mostly women, were injured after security forces fired several rounds of teargas shells to disperse thousands of protesters who tried to breach security barricades at Phougakchao Ikhai in Manipur’s Bishnupur district on Wednesday, officials said.

The injured have been rushed to Bishnupur district hospital and Moirang public health centre for treatment, they said.

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Defying curfew, hundreds of locals came out of their houses at Oinam in Bishnupur district and squatted in the middle of a road around 2.30pm to block the movement of police and other central forces’ personnel who were on their way to Phougakchao Ikhai from Imphal, officials said.

Around 11.40 am, protesters on way to Phougakchao Ikhai were stopped by state police forces which had put a barricade at Kwakta, around 2km away. Though police fired a few rounds of teargas shells, the protesters overran the barricade and proceeded towards Phougakchao Ikhai. No one was injured in the commotion, officials said.

Responding to the call of the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) to storm army barricades at Phougakchao Ikhai, people had gathered in Bishnupur district demanding that those be pushed towards Churachandpur side.

Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL) president Lourembam Nganbi told reporters, “Hundreds of Meiteis, who fled their homes at Torbung after violence broke out on May 3, are unable to visit their homes because of the barricades. We are just demanding that those be shifted so that people can visit their homes.”

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COCOMI had called upon the people to storm the barricades as their repeated requests to the government to remove those by August 30 had fallen on deaf ears.

On Tuesday, the state government hurriedly clamped full curfew in five valley districts till further orders in apprehension of law and order violations. (PTI)

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