Huge rush in Imphal markets during curfew relaxation


Imphal : Hundreds of people thronged the markets here early Thursday to stock up essentials after authorities decided to relax an indefinite curfew for four hours. The curfew had been imposed after Manipur was rocked by a wave of violent protests over an alleged fake encounter in which a surrendered militant was killed.

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“The situation is under control although there is palpable tension in the area. There were no incidents of violence reported during the curfew relaxation period from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.,” a police official said.

Authorities Tuesday night clamped an indefinite curfew in the state capital following violent protests, the immediate provocation for which was the publication of a set of photographs that punctured the security forces’ claim that they had killed a youth following a gunfight.

The photographs clearly revealed that the youth, Chongkham Sanjit, was taken inside a pharmacy here by security forces unchallenged and then his dead body brought out.

Succumbing to mounting pressure from the opposition and rights groups, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh late Wednesday ordered a judicial probe into the incident, besides suspending six police officials.

“We shall probe the incident thoroughly and would punish anyone found guilty,” Singh said Thursday.

The opposition and several rights groups are, however, demanding the resignation of the chief minister and state police chief Joykumar Singh for the extra-judicial killing.

The state government earlier maintained Sanjit was killed in a gunfight.

There are an estimated 19 rebel groups active in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, with more than 10,000 people killed in the last two decades of insurgency in the state.