By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Feb 10 : At least six women vendors of Khwairamband Ima Keithel were injured in a stand off with police personnel today at about 5.10 pm.
Trouble started when police swung into action and started pulling down the banners and Shamianas used by the women folk at Khwairamband Keithel today.
The police tried to disperse the women folk on the ground that restrictions have been placed under CrPC 144 at the said area and a heated argument ensued.
The women vendors have been protesting against CAB at the same spot since yesterday having stayed the night there too.
Police pulled down the banners, Shamiana, carpets and other materials and tried to take them away but were confronted by the incensed womenfolk.
To break the logjam, police resorted to using smoke bombs and tried to make their way through.
On the other hand, the womenfolk stood their ground and started raining whatever things they could lay their hands on including water bottles.
Things took an uglier turn when one of the agitating women sustained injuries in the stand off with the police. The cops tried to take the injured woman away in a police vehicle, but the other womenfolk strongly protested the move to transport her in a police vehicle and instead opted to wait for the arrival of an ambulance to take her to RIMS.
The injury to the woman however did not stop the others from continuing with their protest as they kept on raising slogans such as ‘Long live Manipur, Save indigenous people, Go back BJP, Resign CM N Biren’ etc.
The stand off continued and police kept firing tear gas shells and in the ensuing confrontation five more women sustained injuries and they were rushed to RIMS in an ambulance. The injured women vendors are identified as Thounaojam Promila (52) of Mutum Phibou, Ahanthem Ibeyaima (56) of New Keithelmanbi, Mutum Roma (50) of Sagolband Meino Leirak, Khwairakpam Mangi (68) of Naorem Leikai Liwa Lambi, Gurumayum Lembi of Thongju and H Mema (69) of Takyel Khongbal
Members of MANPAC visited the injured women at RIMS casualty ward and condemned the excessive police action against the womenfolk who they said were staging a democratic protest.
Speaking to media persons, Yumnamcha Dilipkumar said that the protest was staged by womenfolk of Khwairamband Ima Keithel and Temporary market shed who closed down the Keithels, shops and other business establishments in a very democratic manner to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016. Strongly condemning the police action against the women vendors, he said that the assault on the women is a clear indication that the State Government is acting under the command of Delhi.
Despite the brutal crackdown on the womenfolk, the protest will continue till February 12, said Dilipkumar.
Shanti Devi, president of Apunba Khwairamband Nupi Keithel stated that they have submitted memoranda regarding CAB to the authority concerned from time to time but no positive response has been given by the State Government till today. As part of the protest, the decision to close down all the Keithels and shops was taken to save the future generation of the people in the face of the threat posed by CAB, she added. The sit-in protest was a peaceful demonstration, she said and added that no rallies were taken out and they just sat at their place to register their protest.
The police action against the elderly and aged women should be condemned by all, she said.
Extra security measures have been taken up by the State police and CRPF to stop gathering of womenfolk at Khwairamband Ima Keithel after today’s stand off.
Before the incident, locals of Tera, Sagolband and Uripok took out a protest rally to extend support to the womenfolk of Khwairamband Keithel.
The protest rally started from Tera Keithel and on their way were joined by the Meira Paibis of Sagolband Ingudum Leirak before they were stopped by the police at Sinam Leikai area and forced to turn back.
Another protest rally coming towards Khwairamband from Uripok was stopped by police at Uripok traffic point and forced to turn back.
By Our Staff Reporter