MSCW cautions cops

IMPHAL, Feb 11: Demanding an immediate stop to the harassment of women vendors of Khwairamband Ima Keithel by police forces by firing tear gas shells and rubber bullets thus injuring many, Chairperson of Manipur State Commission for Women, Dr Meinam Binota has said that the Commission fully supports the movement launched by the women vendors against the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
A team led by Dr M Binota inspected the areas where the women vendors are protesting and even took part in the protest herself.
Speaking to media persons, she demanded an immediate stop to the use of force by the State police towards the women vendors who are even staying overnight in protest against the Bill and termed it as harassment towards the women vendors.
Reminding that the Ima Keithel is only for women, Dr Binota expressed disappointment at the act of firing tear gas shells and rubber bullets which led to injuries among the protesters.
The Commission will visit the injured women at the earliest, she added.
On the other hand, MANPAC convenor (as well as IKAL member) Oinam Bimola lamented that a large number of male CRPF personnel have been camping at Ima Imoinu Keithel as a security measure to control the situation.
This has led to great inconveniences for the women vendors who are participating in the protest, she decried.
MANPAC member and Nupi Samaj president Th Ramani said that the women vendors and the mothers of the State will vehemently oppose any attempt to pass the Bill in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow.
She explained that the people have been rising in protest against the Bill due to the fear that if the Bill is passed and gets turned into an Act, there will be no more future left for the coming generations.
Pointing out that many experts and high level officers are decrying the Bill citing its negative impacts, she asked why the MLAs and Ministers are still insisting otherwise and trying to fool the people.
Further condemning the police action against the women vendors, she urged the authority concerned not to repeat such acts in the future.
Peoples Alliance Manipur (PAM) has also strongly condemned the act of the police which resulted in the injury of some women vendors of Khwairamband Keithel yesterday.
A press release issued by the convenor of PAM further mentioned that PAM will continue its agitation against the CAB unabated and appealed to all to fully support the total shutdown and ceasework called by PAM.
On the other hand, the SP of Imphal West claimed that the women agitators obstructed the police personnel who were following orders and became violent, which led to the police resorting to use of minimal force to disperse the agitators.
A press release issued by the SP of Imphal West, H Jogeshchandra, mentioned that women vendors of four Ima markets numbering around 1000, blocked the approach road from Paona Bazar to Thangal Bazar in between the two Ima Markets, by sitting on the road and putting up Shamiana/tents since the early morning thereby causing great inconveniences to the commuters and the public.
They also forcibly closed all the shops of Paona and Thangal Bazaar thus hampering trade and business and resulting in artificial scarcity of essential items.
It explained that the area where the women vendors were agitating in connection with the CAB, falls within the hyper sensitive zone and moreover the District Magistrate had imposed restrictions under CrPC 144 since February 4.
It continued that the agitators also used loudspeakers without seeking any permission from the competent authority and added that in view of the disturbance and inconvenience caused by the agitators and the violation of law, the Executive Magistrate, detailed by DC Imphal West, announced to the crowd using PA system that 10 minutes will be given to disperse from the area.
However, the crowd did not disperse and at 5 pm, the Executive Magistrate ordered the removal of the Shamiana and other objects which were blocking the road.
The agitators obstructed the police personnel who were following the order and became violent and as such, they were dispersed using minimal force, it clarified.

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