Hundreds of womenfolk staged a protest with the demand to bring peace and stability in the state of Manipur which continued till late in the evening hours of July 17.
Further, the womenfolk also alleged that they were stopped by combined security forces of both state and central forces barring them to meet Biren Singh.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh didn’t turn up to meet women protestors despite the latter having waited for a whole day staging a sit-in at Singajamei Chingamathak.
Rather they were dispersed by security forces using tear gas and smoke bomb. As many as 19 women protestors were injured and one was in critical condition.
Also Read: Manipur violence: Security forces allegedly stops womenfolk from staging protest rally in Imphal West
On July 17, a large number of highly irate womenfolk of Manipur attempted to stage a protest rally from Singjamei Bazaar under Imphal West district towards Chief Minister’s secretariat, Babupara. However, they were stopped by combined security forces of both state and central forces at Singjamei Chingamathak Traffic junction, which is around 2 Km distance from CM’s secretariat.
As they couldn’t proceed further, their agitation continued by staging a sit-in protest in the middle of the road by braving the scorching heat. They decided to carry out the sit-in until Chief Minister N Biren Singh or one of his colleagues had come to meet and plead with them about the present crisis. However, none of the people whom they wanted to meet had turned up.
The protest was held with the demand to bring peace and stability in the state of Manipur at the earliest through long-term measures without affecting a single inch of territory and the integrity of Manipur.
The district magistrate had warned the agitators to disperse because conducting sit-ins violates the curfew norm. As the agitators didn’t follow the order, security forces hurled tear gas shells, and smoke bombs that resulted to injured as many as 19 women. Out of it, one is in severely injured. The incident occurred at around 9.45 PM.
It may be mentioned that during the protest, condemning the act of obstruction of marching towards CM’s secretariat, womenfolk rhetorically questioned the incident of the chief minister resignation protest that was held some days back in the surrounding premises of Chief Minister’s secretariat which is a silence zone by CM supporters demanding not to resign.
Addressing the media at the sidelines of the protest, one of the protestors, Sujata said that earlier it was presumed the present conflict is just an internal matter of state. But it has been realised that violence is between state and external military forces. This reality is also accepted by the governor of Manipur.
She said that the owing to present crisis, life of many innocent people had lost and completely affected normal life. They took to the streets to meet the chief minister and discussed on how the prevailing situation hit hard to the people of state. But unfortunately, the forces are disallowed to move until CM’s secretariat, which is highly condemnable.
“At the time of chief minister resignation, large number of people were allowed to gather, stormed at CM’s secretariat and shout slogans with the demand not to resign CM from his post. The place is a silent zone. But surprisingly, we are not allowed to march at CM’s secretariat or CM’s bungalow. We came out to the street with the intention to talk with chief minister as the situation is getting worse each day,” she expressed.
Nine mothers who recently lost their husbands and loved ones in Khamenlok said that they came here to submit a memorandum and speak with the Chief Minister. However, the obstruction of the rally at Chinga Mathak by the combined team of Rapid Action Forces and State Police force has put their peace initiatives unaccomplished.
At this, the mothers said they would not move an inch and sit here at Chinga Makhak till the CM comes and meets the mothers. They want some concrete steps from the side of the government to restore peace in Manipur at the earliest. Every Meitei man and woman are ready to sacrifice their lives to save Manipur from disintegration. And none would think twice to sacrifice their lives, said the mothers.
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