Imphal: The police used teargas and smoke bombs as hundreds of protesters defied curfew clamped on Monday on the entire Manipur valley to demand arrest of a Naga militant who had allegedly molested a film actress and to protest the death of a photojournalist. The protesters took out rallies, blocked roads and burnt tyres in Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishenpur and Thoubal districts, official sources said.
Earlier, protesters hit the streets as soon as the 16-hour curfew clamped in Imphal East and Imphal West districts from 2:00 pm yesterday ended this morning, the sources said. The police fired smoke bombs and teargas at Thangmeiband area, near here, where photojournalist Thangjam Nanao Singh was killed in police firing yesterday, they said.
The protesters shouted slogans against the killing and demanded a judicial enquiry and punishment for the policemen responsible. A spokesman of the Kangleipak Students Organisation also demanded an inquiry into yesterday's police firing. Police fired teargas shells at Irilbung on the outskirts of the city, Khuyathong, Sagolband, Wangkhei, Nongmeibung and other places, they said.
At Nagamapal area here and some other places on the periphery of the city, hundreds of people defied curfew and took out rallies to demand arrest of the militant who was reported to be hiding in the jungles in Chandel district, the sources said. At Sinam Leikai area near here, a bus which was to transport people to Ukhrul hill district to enable them to celebrate Christmas was set ablaze, they said. At Tharoijam area, the protestors set afire to a two wheeler after it attempted to pass through a road blockade with the rider managing to escape, police sources said.