Clashes between tribal students and police in Manipur, internet suspended for 5 days

The Manipur government on Saturday suspended mobile internet services across the state for five days after clashes broke out between students and the police.

It comes after more than 100 tribal students in Kabo Leikai in Imphal West district staged protest demanding the release of some leaders of the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM).

The student leaders who were demanding the tabling of the Hill Areas Committee (HAC)-recommended Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) Amendment Bill, 2021, arrested for imposing a total shutdown and subsequent economic blockade in hill districts of Manipur.

The protesters were dispersed by the police citing the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC, according to Indian Express.

Police resorted to firing tear gas shells and baton charge. In retaliation, the tribal students hurled stones at the police personnel. Around 30 students and two policemen were injured during the clash.

“We were holding a peaceful protest demanding the release of our leaders but the police harassed the students. We strongly condemn the high handedness of the police. We will continue our agitation until the arrested ATSUM,” Indian Express quotes Ningzan Jajo, a leader of All College Tribal Students’ Union as saying.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West, on Saturday remanded the arrested ATSUM leaders in 15-day judicial custody.

Manipur government said that “the crime has created tense communal situation and volatile law and order situation in the State.”

“Some anti-social elements are using social media extensively for transmission of images, hate speech and hate video messages inciting the passions of the public. The social media has also become a handy tool for rumour mongers and is being used to incite general public which might have serious repercussions for the law and order situation in the State,” read a government order.