TODAY -

9 women hurt in police crack down
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 19 2011: At least nine women sustained injuries in police crack down on a mass rally taken out at Thanga today against burning down dwelling huts and the Loktak Protection Act.

The mass rally jointly organised by the All Manipur Thanga People's Welfare Association and the All Loktak Areas Fishermen's Union was flagged off from Thanga Haoreng Chinngang.

The protesters chanted different slogans like "Repeal Loktak Lake Protection Act 2006", "Don't include Thanga, Ithing and Karang in the core zone of Loktak Lake", "Don't prohibit fishing and building of huts in Loktak Lake" etc.

The rally was participated by hundreds of people including those whose dwelling houses were burnt down recently.

As the rally approached Thanga Chingjin, they were blocked by a police team led by Moirang PS OC Dhananjoy.

As the protesters insisted on marching ahead, a tussle ensued between the two sides.

Shortly after, police resorted to firing tear gas shells as well as bullets in their attempt to drive back the protesters.

The police crack down caused injuries to nine women and they were taken to Moirang CHC.

Though most of the live bullets were fired in the air, some VDF personnel were firing with their guns turn down.

Notably, when the protesters were thus driven back, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi was attending a political convention at nearby Moirang Chengei ground.

Police opened fire and tear gas shells on two occasions.

Later a public meeting was held at Ithing ground.

The speakers strongly condemned the brutal police crack down against women who were protesting in peaceful and democratic manner.

They asserted that a thousand K-Pro's and all the efforts of LDA cannot save Loktak Lake without consulting the villagers living in and around the lake.

They also demanded amendment of the Loktak Lake Protection Act and review of the Loktak Project including Ithai Dam.

They also alleged that the State Government has not been complying with the Ramsar Convention 1971 Protocol.

At the end of the meeting, copies of the Loktak Lake Protection Act 2006 were burnt while chanting slogans to rescind the same Act.


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