By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 14: The attempt by the JAC against the unnatural shifting of District Hospital Imphal East from Sagolmang to organise mass protest rallies in connection with the Government’s decision to shift Imphal East District Hospital from Sagolmang to Kyamgei, was foiled by Imphal East district police which resorted to firing tear gas shells to disperse the protesters.
The protests began at around noon today, when a large number of womenfolk and locals began converging at Tiger Camp village.
However, two members of the JAC were picked up by the police and the situation subsided after the protesters agreed to disband in exchange for the release of the two volunteers.
On the other hand, a large number of womenfolk and locals organised a protest rally from Sagolmang Khewa to Sagolmang Keithel at around 2 pm.
To prevent any unwanted incident from happening, the police, using PA systems, informed the people that CrPC Section 144 is still in effect in Imphal East district and as such congregation of more than five individuals was not allowed.
The police tried to disperse the crowd and even snatched the banners but the people, instead of giving up, gathered at Sagolmang Khewa Company community hall and hired numerous buses, mini vans and autos to go to Imphal and meet the Chief Minister.
Their plan was foiled when additional police forces rushed in and blocked the vehicles near Lembisana Service station (petrol pump) at Sawombung, preventing them from going any further. While the large group of protesters were gathered near the petrol pump, the police fired two tear gas shells to disperse the protesters who were yet to reach the petrol pump.
However, when the people and womenfolk gathered near the petrol pump the police began firing tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
At least four women lost consciousness and two of them were admitted to a nearby health centre.
During the commotion, the police spotted a volunteer of the JAC at the petrol pump and gave chase. In a shocking turn of event, the police directly fired at the fleeing volunteer with a tear gas round thus injuring him.
The JAC volunteer identified as Nongthombam Dijen of Hararou sustained injuries on his right arms as a result.
It may be mentioned that the JAC organised a public meeting at Khurai Lamlong on May 11 resolving to intensify its protest from May 13.
By Our Staff Reporter