Thousands march for removal of Army barricades; intense scuffle at Kwakta

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Imphal: Amid an indefinite total curfew imposed by the Manipur Government in five valley Districts namely, Imphal West, Imphal East, Bishnupur, Thoubal and Kakching Districts since 6 last evening, thousands of Meitei protestors marched for the removal of barricades set up by the Army along Tiddim Road (Imphal-Churachandpur road) at Phougakchao Ikhai in Bishnupur District.

Related | COCOMI to force remove Army barricade beyond Torbung on Sept 6, 11 AM

An intense scuffle erupted between the police and the protestors at Kwakta, with police resorting to firing tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the agitators. Despite the police action, the protestors continued heading towards the barricade till the time of filing this report.

Another intense scuffle occurred when the protestors reached Phougakchao Ikhai in the afternoon. In their effort to disperse the protestors, State and Central security forces fired several rounds of tear gas shells, rubber bullets and smoke bombs, leaving several protestors injured.

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COCOMI Manipur Violence

The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) called for this mass movement on Monday evening, followed by a reminder call by the women’s wing of COCOMI on Tuesday. Briefing the media at the COCOMI Office in Lamphel, Imphal on Monday, the Media Coordinator of COCOMI, Somorendro Thokchom stated that they had set a deadline to relevant authorities of the Government for removal of the Barricades by August end, but it had failed to take any action. Hence, they called for a mass movement on September 6 at 11 am.

COCOMI had warned both the State and Central governments about potential adverse incidents that may arise during the movement.

Related | Women wing of COCOMI calls mass movement for removal of Army barricade

Meanwhile, the Rapid Action Force personnel were blocked off by Meira Paibis at Tiddim Road, Oinam Bazaar while on the way to Phougakchao Ikhai and Torbung in Bishnupur District to quell the protestors.

Road leading to Torbung was blocked off by Oinam Meira Paibis, namely the Tanglei Hada Manipur Kangleipak Kanba Lup and womenfolk from various places who gathered and stationed at the middle of the road and blocked off the RAF. After few hours, the RAF personnel retreated from Oinam Bazaar.

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