Protest escalates on second day of JAC`s 38-hour general strike


IMPHAL, July 29: Smoke filled the skies in Imphal and sounds of smoke bombs and tear gas shells filled the air, as protestors came out to the streets with full force on the second day of the 38-hour general strike demanding punishment for the police personnel involved in the death of Sapam Robinhood.

Unlike in the first day of the strike, the second day witnessed violent eruptions with police-agitators confrontations reported from several parts of the valley districts today.

The JAC formed in connection to the death of the young class XI student Sapam Robinhood had called a 38-hour general strike in the State expressing dissatisfaction against the State government`™s failure to suspend and punish the police personnel involved and provide justice to the boy`™s family.

The general strike came into effect at 5am of July 28 and concluded at 7pm July 29.

Sapam Robinhood succumbed at the hospital where he was taken after being hit by a tear gas shell fired by the police in their bid to control a student rally on July 8 demanding implementation of the Inner Line Permit System in the State.

In the meantime, the boy`™s body continues to lie in the JNIMS mortuary as the JAC has denied accepting the body until the government fulfills the demands for punishment of the involved personnel and implementation of the ILPS or a similar law.

Protestors burnt tyres and tree branches to block roads while police personnel fired tear-gas shells and smoke bombs in their bid to disperse the protestors.

The general strike affected inter-district and inter-State passenger services bringing the State to a standstill.

Supporters came out in full support and blocked roads by burning tyres and logs on the road. Boulders were also used to block roads at difference places. Women`™s clothing were hanged at several localities blocking roads.

General strike supporters including both men and women of all ages came out to the streets in several localities to join the agitations including formation of human chains, staging sit in protests, taking out rallies or blocking roads.

A brief confrontation between womenfolk and the police were reported near the Ramlal Paul High School at Keishamthong area after the police personnel tried to pick up some youngsters for allegedly pelting stones at the security forces.

A 65-year old man who was standing at the balcony of his house was hit by a police fired tear gas shell injuring his left leg during the commotion. Family members rushed him to a hospital in their family vehicle.

Agitators and bandh supporters were also seen coming out on the Tiddim Road starting from Keishampat junction and till Kwakeithel bazaar and sat on the road barricading traffic as part of the strike.

They also shouted slogans demanding punishment for the personnel involved in the death of Sapam Robinhood and implementation of the ILPS or another similar.

Three youngsters were also picked up by the police for allegedly using catapults.

Air passengers arriving at the Imphal airport from outside the State had to walk the entire stretch upto the Keishampat Junction on foot with their baggages as the entire road stretch remained blocked for the day.

Similar confrontations and demonstrations were also witnessed at Sagolband, Uripok, Thangmeiband, Chingmeirong, Wangkhei, Singjamei and Kakwa areas.

Womenfolk of Keishamthong Moirangningthou Leirak also staged a sit in protest at their locality demanding punishment of the personnel involved in the killing of Sapam Robinhood on July 8.


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