On Thursday, there were more violent demonstrations in Manipur in response to the kidnapping and death of two students, and many of them attempted to march to the ancestral home of the chief minister, N Biren Singh. The demonstrators and security guards fought as they attempted to attack CM Biren Singh’s home, according to a police official.
Since Tuesday, there has been unrest in Imphal Valley as protesters have taken to the streets to voice their outrage at the murder of the two Meitei students and call for immediate action against those responsible.
On Thursday, a large group of protesters gathered in Imphal East’s Heinging neighbourhood and marched towards the ancestral home of Chief Minister N Biren Singh. Security guards stopped them, which resulted in fights.
“There was an attempt to attack the chief minister’s ancestral house at Heingang locality in Imphal. Security forces stopped the mob around 100 metres away from the house,” a police officer said.
After images of two Manipuri students who have been missing since July 6 started to circulate on social media on Tuesday, there has been a great deal of public outcry in Imphal. In fact, on Wednesday an enraged mob even set fire to the BJP mandal office in Manipur. On the same day, a number of Manipur student organisations organised protests against the overzealous use of force by the government in the country’s most violent state.
In Manipur, six student organisations staged a large-scale demonstration against the kidnapping, killing, and overreaction of police to student protests. Tyres were burned on the highway as protesters stopped the passage between India and Myanmar. Security personnel used simulated bombs and tear gas shells to disperse the crowd, who then retaliated by firing slingshots and stones at the personnel.
At the protesting site, the students were heard raising slogans such as “We condemn the brutal killing of two students”, “we want justice”, “Long live Manipur”, “go back, central forces”, “condemn excessive action of forces” and “Implement NRC”.
A mob also vandalised the deputy commissioner’s office in Imphal West district.
The remains of the two Meitei youths went viral on social media on Tuesday, causing a tremendous public outcry in Imphal. Only two days later, the state of Manipur ordered a temporary shutdown of internet services in the state.
Since violence started on May 3, when a “Tribal Solidarity March” was staged in the hill areas of Manipur to protest against the Meitei community’s desire for Scheduled Tribe (ST) classification, more than 160 people have been murdered and several hundred injured.
The majority of Meiteis, who make up around 53% of the state’s population, reside in the Imphal Valley. 40% of the population are tribal people, the most of whom reside in the hill districts, including the Nagas and Kukis.