Manipur women protest against ‘fake encounter’ deaths

Iboyaima Laithangbam
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A large number of women took out a torchlight procession on Sunday night at Kyamgei here to protest against the July 23 “fake encounter” and demand the resignation of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and the prosecution of the police commandos involved in the killing of two persons.
The protesters changed course after heavily armed police personnel stopped them near the gate of Manipur University. Sit-in protests also took place at the marketplace at Keirao in the city’s East district. They carried placards condemning the killing of innocent persons and the heaping of blame on the victims to justify it. They also demanded the Chief Minister’s resignation.
The Apunba Lup, the apex body spearheading the mass agitations, said in a press release that there had been bloodshed in Manipur under the Congress-led coalition Ministry. Though there had been other fake encounters and extra-judicial killings, the July 23 deaths were exposed by a news magazine with tell-tale photographs. Five persons were injured in the incidents, including three women.
Schools warned
Three students’ organisations — the All Manipur Students’ Union, the Manipuri Students’ Federation and the Kangleipak Students’ Association — have issued a stern warning to schools that have been holding clandestine classes in defiance of the boycott call given by them demanding Mr. Singh’s resignation and punishment of police commandos involved.
In a joint statement, they said that these schools, teachers and students may face reprisals and should not blame anyone. The organisations also warned Manipur University authorities as they had been holding classes.