In a significant development, mobile internet services have been temporarily suspended in Manipur following escalating protests and unrest in Imphal Valley. The protests, triggered by the alleged kidnapping and killing of two youths, took a violent turn when clashes between students and police left 45 students injured. To maintain law and order, the state government has imposed a mobile internet ban until October 1, and schools have been closed temporarily.
Protests Turn Violent, Mobile Internet Suspended
The Imphal Valley bore witness to intense clashes between students and the police, resulting in the injury of at least 45 students. Tear gas shells and baton charges were used to disperse the agitators who were demanding swift action against those responsible for the alleged kidnapping and killing of the two youths. The situation escalated rapidly after photos of the victims circulated on social media platforms, further inciting public outrage.
Students Demand Justice
The injured students, predominantly from schools and colleges in Imphal, have been demanding the immediate arrest of the individuals involved in the alleged crime. Tensions soared when security forces attempted to halt the protesters’ advance toward the chief minister’s secretariat in Sanjenthong, Imphal East district.
Schools Closed Amid Unrest
In light of the ongoing turmoil, the Manipur state government has announced the closure of all government and private schools on Wednesday and Friday. This decision comes in addition to Thursday already being designated as a public holiday in the state for Eid-e-Milad, the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad.
Search for Justice Spreads
Protests demanding justice for the slain youths have not been confined to Imphal alone. Demonstrations have erupted in other areas of Imphal, including Uripok, Old Lambulane, and Singjamei in Imphal West district. Reports of clashes between students and security forces have also emerged from Thoubal, Kakching, and Bishnupur districts.
Public Frustration Grows
One student protester, Abungo Th, expressed deep frustration over the situation, saying, “The missing students were killed, and the government is yet to arrest the killers. The location of the bodies where they have been buried is still unknown. The government is reluctant to take action.”
PHOTO | Mobile internet services suspended for five days in #Manipur: Officials
The curbs will remain effective in the state till 7.45 pm on October 1. pic.twitter.com/TBd2R8N375
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 26, 2023
In a late-night statement from Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s secretariat, it was revealed that the case had been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Collaborating with central security agencies, the state police is actively investigating the case, striving to uncover the circumstances surrounding the youths’ disappearance and identify the perpetrators.
A Commitment to Justice
Security forces are on high alert, and additional measures have been implemented to prevent further incidents following the viral spread of the images of the slain students. The government has assured the public that swift and decisive action will be taken against all those involved in the kidnapping and killing. The state government remains resolute in its commitment to ensuring justice and promises severe punishment for any perpetrator found responsible for this heinous crime.
Ongoing Ethnic Violence
It’s important to note that Manipur has been grappling with ethnic violence since early May, resulting in over 175 casualties and hundreds of injuries since clashes began in the northeastern state on May 3. The recent events have further exacerbated the already tense situation in the region.