At least four students were injured as police used tear gas shells against a large number of protesters including women, who allegedly tried to storm the residence of BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP K Bhabananda Singh in Imphal Thursday. The group was protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019.
Chanting slogans like, “Go back BJP, Go back RSS”, “We demand the withdrawal of Citizenship Amendment Bill” and “Long Live Manipur”, the protestors took to the streets of Imphal and later tried to storm the Wangheng Leikai residence of Rajya Sabha MP K Bhabananda Singh, who is also the president of BJP Manipur.
A confrontation ensued when police stopped the agitating groups to proceed further. To disperse the agitation, police used tear gas against the protestors resulting in the injury to at least four students. The injured were evacuated to RIMS hospital and later discharged after receiving first aid.
The situation was pacified when the MP personally came out of his residence and assured the agitating groups that he will not do anything which is against the people of the state. Bhabananda told the agitating groups that he understands the sentiment of the people and will oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the next session of the Rajya Sabha.
Manjit Sarangthem, president of All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), a student group spearheading the protest, told reporters that they have made their stand clear to the MP to stand firmly against the Bill.
Urging both ruling and opposition parties to stand against the bill, Manjit informed that the student bodies will further intensify the agitations until the said bill is scrapped.
Six other groups including Socialist Students Union of Manipur, Manipur Students Association Delhi, All Manipur Muslim Students’ organization, Reformist Students’ Front and All Meetei Pangal Students Union also submitted a memorandum to the Rajya Sabha MP demanding to make his stand public on the Bill.
As protests continue unabated against the Bill, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has convened an all political party meeting on January 28. The chief minister had requested all the political parties in Manipur to sent two representatives to attend the meeting.