Manipur: Women attempt to storm police stations, total curfew reimposed in Imphal

Meitei Women Linked to Meira Paibis Storm Police Stations in Manipur

| Updated: 22 September, 2023 9:53 am IST
Meitei Women storm police stations in Imphal, Manipur: alleged Meira Paibi members demand action

NEW DELHI: Tension reached intense pitch in restive Manipur on Thursday following the arrest of five Village Defense Volunteers (VDVs) over the last one week, leading to a widespread demonstrationby Meitei women demanding unconditional release of the volunteers. To quell the unrest, total curfew was imposed in the twin capital districts under section 144 of the CrPC.

The Meitei women who are allegedly associated with the Meira Paibis, a Manipuri women’s rights outfit, had stormed Porompat police station in Imphal East, and Singjamei and Kwakeithel police stations in Imphal West.

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Their protest had led to mass arrests across the state’s capital, also resulting in the police using tear gas and stun bombs to repel the crowd. Around 10 protestors were injured during the commotion. A local female journalist was also injured while covering the incident.

The women participants accused the state government of turning a blind eye to the ongoing ethnic conflict, where Kuki miscreants, armed with advanced weaponry, persistently assault Meitei villages and openly extort money on highways.

The protesters shouted at the police, categorically commanding them to arrest them too since they were also VDVs tasked with protecting fellow Meiteis at the fringes of the city.

The five VDVs had been arrested on September 16 for committing acts of violence in the tumultuous state of Manipur. As part of the demonstration, a 48-hour shutdown began in the state from midnight last Monday, causing disruption in daily life across all valley districts.

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According to an official decree issued by the district magistrate of Imphal West, the previously eased curfew hours from 5 am to 9 pm on September 21 have been canceled. There are restrictions on the movement of the general public outside their homes in all areas of Imphal West district from 5 pm.

Pradip Singh, Additional Secretary of  Home Department, announced in a press conference that the five individuals were arrested for possessing weapons stolen from police armories while posing as special police commandos. Additionally, one of them has been booked under UAPA.

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