Protest turns violent at Wangoi

Imphal, March 09 2011: Demonstrations turned violent along Mayai Lambi at Luxmi Thongkhong bazar under Wangoi PS today, as protesters smashed vehicles and security forces fired tear gas on the crowds.

Police baton charged the protestors, who were mostly women.

Protesters demonstrated against the disappearance of a youth hailing from Top Siphai after suspected security forces in combat dress picked him up from his house on the night of February 18 .

Longjam Suresh was taken away along with Chabungbam Manglemba who was released after two days, Suresh, however, is still missing.

Unhappy with the actions of the government and the police taken up in this matter, locals have imposed a 24 hour statewide general strike.

The strike commenced from 5 am today, however, it was not effective in other places.

Hundreds of locals demanding the government to find the whereabouts of the youth took to the streets along Mayai Lambi, they smashed windshields of 15 vehicles including 10 vans, two auto-rickshaws for allegedly violating the bandh.

Earlier, no interventions were given to the protestors who were blocking the road, but in the afternoon when protestors stopped a bridal procession, police intervened and asked to let the procession proceed.

When protestors refused to do so, police resorted to firing tear gas and other mob dispersal ammunition.

They also baton charged the protestors.

After the police quelled the protestors allowed the bridal procession to pass, then the protestors stoned the police and the police retaliated by firing tear gas shells.

The situation was tense but under control, a police officer said.

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