Two more deaths takes Manipur violence toll to six



Two more people were killed and a police station was set afire on Tuesday, as the toll in the violence that started on Monday in Manipur's Churchandpur district over three bills passed in the assembly rose to six.

Violating an indefinite curfew in place in the town, a mob went on a rampage in the streets and set ablaze a police station in Churchandpur town, as police fired blanks to disperse the mob.

"Two people, who were part of the unruly mob, were killed after we (police) were forced to opened fire at them in self-defence and to defend the police station," district police chief L. Mangkhogin Haokip told IANS.

With Tuesday's deaths, the toll has risen to six.

Violence erupted on Monday evening following the Manipur government's adoption of three landmark bills -- Protection of Manipur People Bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (seventh amendment) Bill 2015, and Manipur Shops and Establishment (second amendment) Bill 2015.

The bills were unanimously passed in the assembly on Monday after the ruling Congress signed an agreement with the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) on August 25 to enact three laws to protect the interest of the indigenous people.

The mob on Monday evening attacked the residence of five Congress lawmakers, including that of state Health and Family Welfare Minister Phungzathang Tonsing and Outer Manipur Lok Sabha member Thangsoi Baite. However, none of the lawmakers were at their residences.

Three bodies were found in Churachandpur town and a charred body was recovered from the debris at the residence of Congress legislator Manga Vaiphei of Henglep assembly constituency on Tuesday, the police official said.

The mob on Monday evening also set afire the vehicle of Churachandpur Deputy Commissioner Lunminthang Haokip and prevented fire engines from dousing the flames, even as police were forced to resort to a baton charge.

Tribal civil society groups -- All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) AKuki Students Organisation (KSO) and All Naga Students Association Manipur, (ANSAM) -- opposed the introduction of the bills, saying they overlapped with some points in the Manipur Hill People Administration Regulation Act, 1947, meant to safeguard the interest of tribesmen in the hill areas of Manipur. - IANS