Police, VDF personnel clash in Manipur

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Imphal, July 29: A clash broke out between police and agitating Village Defence Force (VDF) personnel in Imphal West district but no one was injured in the incident, police today said.
The VDF personnel, numbering around 500, took out a protest rally along the Tiddim Road in Imphal West district yesterday under the aegis of All Manipur VDF Welfare Association demanding service security and pay hike, among others.
The rally was taken out despite the imposition of Section 144 of CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) in the district which prohibits assembly of more than four persons.
VDFs were raised by the state government in 2009 to fight against militants but were later incorporated to maintain law and order situation in the state.
All Manipur VDF Welfare Association spokesperson Amuthoi said that VDF personnel have been on strike from July 11 to express resentment over unfulfilled demands prompting them to take out the Saturdays rally.
The agitating VDF members proceeded towards the Chief Minister’s bungalow but were prevented by the police. A clash broke out as the VDF personnel tried to overpower the police who retaliated with tear gas shells to disperse the protesters.
During the confrontation, one 9mm pistol, two magazines and a radio set were snatched by the protesting VDF personnel from police but were returned in the evening, a top police officer said.
Later, to placate the highly agitated VDF personnel, some of their leaders were allowed to meet the DGP.
The Association, representing 10,050 personnel had earlier warned the government that they would intensify their agitation if their demands were not met. (PTI)