Last Updated on September 27, 2023 by SPN Editor
Imphal/ September 27, 2023 (SPN) | A violent scene unfolded in Imphal as at least 58 students were injured due to tear gas shells at various locations on Tuesday, rallying to demand justice for two missing students who are presumed dead.
Unfortunately, their peaceful protests took a violent turn as police and RAF (Rapid Action Force) personnel resorted to tear gas shells, stun bombs, and barrel guns to disperse the demonstrators. This unfortunate clash resulted in injuries to both students and law enforcement officials, further escalating the tension.
The students, hailing from schools, colleges, and universities, demanded justice for the cold-blooded murder of Phijam Hemanjit and Hijam Luwangbi Linthoingambi who were kidnapped by Kuki militants. The protestors marched towards CM Bungalow which was obstructed by a huge contingent of RAF and Manipur Police.
Despite these obstructions, the students persevered and marched forward, attempting to make their voices heard. However, the clashes between the students and security forces continued, causing injuries to 58 students who were promptly transported to various hospitals for medical treatment. The injured were distributed among several healthcare facilities, with 20 taken to RIMS, 35 to Raj Medicity, one to JNIMS, and two to Asian Hospital.
The tensions escalated as students from different educational institutions joined the protests. The rally included students from Ibotonsana Girls Higher Secondary School, Uripok, who formed a human chain along the Uripok-Kangchup (UK) road and marched towards the CM Bungalow to condemn the killings and seek justice for Phijam Hemanjit and Hijam Linthoingambi. Despite police attempts to halt the procession, the students broke through barricades and continued their march.
Students from CC Higher Secondary School, TG Higher Secondary School, and GP Women’s College also joined the protests, facing similar resistance from the authorities, including the deployment of tear gas shells at Sanjenthong and in front of Raj Bhavan.
Meanwhile, students from Johnstone Higher Secondary School, DM University, and Imphal College confronted police/RAF action as they attempted to rally towards the CM’s bungalow.
The clashes further intensified at Singjamei, where protestors pelted stones, and police/RAF responded with tear gas shells and barrel guns. In the midst of this tumultuous situation, three protestors sustained barrel gun wounds, and a police officer was injured by a stone thrown by protestors.
The injured protestors were identified as Saikhom Kunal, 39, of Singjamei Sapam Leikai, S Sanathoi, 30, of Khongman Zone-1, and Moirangthem Munindro, 22, of Khurai Thangjam Leikai. They were rushed to various hospitals for treatment.
Amid the chaos, DSP (Commando) Imphal West Md Riyaz Khan also suffered injuries when he was hit by a stone thrown by protestors and received medical treatment at Shija Hospital.
The clashes and injuries have further highlighted the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for a peaceful resolution to the demands for justice for the missing students.