Security forces in action to disperse mob trying to push back an army barricade along Tidim Road at Phoubakchao in Bishnupur district on Wednesday

Over 80 people – mostly women and a journalist – were injured in firing by police, Rapid Action Force and other security personnel in Manipur’s Bishnupur district on September 6, officials said.

The incident happened as people defied the curfew at Phougakchao Ikhai.

A media person covering the event was among scores of protesters injured in the action of the security forces.

The Manipur government earlier imposed a curfew in five districts as displaced persons decided to return to their homes at Torbung.

Defying the curfew, thousands of people converged in Bishnupur district and marched towards the places destroyed by people from another ethnic group since May 3 in Churachandpur district. Over 60,000 people are still displaced and security personnel have advised them not to return to their homes as normalcy has not returned and people from another ethnic group were likely to target them.

Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) leaders, women leaders and thousands of people announced their decision to resettle the displaced people. As the strength of the gathering increased security personnel resorted to heavy firing including live bullets, rubber bullets. They also earlier lobbed tear gas shells. Thousands of people mostly women, were in the front and they bore the major brunt of the action of the security personnel.

Police and other security personnel could not control the thousands of people who were on the six-kilometre-long main road and talks with the leaders failed. After the talks failed heavy firing started which created chaos and stampede.

As the hospitals in Bishnupur district could not accommodate the injured people, most of them were referred to Imphal. Most of the hospitals in Imphal West, Imphal East and Bishnupur districts were busy attending to the injured persons. The situation remained tense as thousands of people were still on the road.

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