GUWAHATI, SEPTEMBER 29: The Manipur Government has formed a 2-member committee, headed by an Inspector General of Police, to probe the charge that security forces used excessive force to quell protesting students.
An order issued by Director General of Police Rajiv Singh said, “There have been various reports/allegations of use of excess force by the security forces during maintenance of law & order situations in the last few days in Imphal area.”
“To verify such complaints/allegations, a committee is being formed to look into the issues and submit the report at the earliest. The committee will be headed by K Jayanta Singh, IGP (Adm), Manipur and assisted by Th Sanatomba Singh, AAIG (Adm), PHQ”, the order further read.
Over 200 students, including girls, were injured when protests broke out in different parts of Imphal on Tuesday and Wednesday against the killing of two Meitei students – Phijam Hemjit (20) and Linthoingambi Hijam (17). They were reported missing in the early part of July during the height of ethnic violence and photos of their bodies surfaced on social media on Monday.
Some protestors had sustained grievous injuries. The photos of one with his shoulder torn off went viral. In another photo, a number of “unknown particles” were seen stuck in the skull of another student. Another student was badly injured in one eye. Doctors treating him feared that he might lose his vision in that eye.
Taking note of the photos, the Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights appealed to authorities not to resort to such ‘widespread, systemic and institutionalised physical abuse” of students.
“…the strategy and approach for controlling young students and child protestors must be different from adult protestors…As a matter of fact, the very interpretation of ‘minimum force’ needs to be redefined and reviewed contextually…Lathi-charge, tear gas shells and rubber bullets should not be used arbitrarily…against the children”, the Commission said in a statement.
Meitei organisation Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity condemned the “brutal” assault on the protestors. It claimed that not just rubber bullets, tear gas shells and smoke bombs, the personnel had also fired bullets. (Courtesy: TNIE)