A widespread protest staged by womenfolk across the valley districts of strife-torn Manipur on August 7 intensified the demand for withdrawal of Assam Rifles.
The protest was intensified after the central paramilitary forces allegedly used electrified barbed-wire barricades and “poisonous chemical weapons” besides kicking with their boots toward the womenfolk who staged protest against proposed mass burial of bodies of deceased people from Kuki community in the ongoing violence in the state at Torbung Bangla, a Meitei settlement area in Bishnupur district bordering Churachandpur on August 3 last.
Registering a strong denouncement against the alleged atrocity meted out to the women by the Assam Rifles troops, a newly formed women’s body “Committee on Protest against Assam Rifles” gave a call for a mass protest against the paramilitary forces.
The committee also announced imposition of a 24-hour “people curfew” against the movement of Assam Rifles which commenced from last midnight.
Responding to the call given by the committee, womenfolk came out on the roads at their respective localities and villages and staged protests.
During the protest, they demanded immediate removal of the Assam Rifles from the state while alleging the paramilitary force of siding on one community in conflict.
The protesters also chanted slogans denouncing the excessive meted out by the Assam Rifles in handling the women protestors. They chanted “Go back Assam Rifles”, “Remove Assam Rifles”, etc.
Joining the protest, women vendors of iconic all-women-run markets in Imphal also staged a protest under the banner “Stop using Indian security forces against Meiteis”.