Rights

Imphal Out On the Streets: A Photo Feature

manipurcurfew18Manipur’s capital Imphal has been under curfew since July 8. Section 144 of the CrPC prohibiting the assembly of more than 10 people in an area was clamped on the East and West Imphal districts following the violence which erupted after the death of a school student, Sapam Robinhood, due to police action.

Tyres burning in an Imphal street.

Tyres burning in an Imphal street.

School-girls protesting.

School-girls protesting.

Police lobbed tear-gas shells at a procession in Imphal East district comprising mostly students from various schools of Imphal demanding implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in the state. Sixteen-year-old Sapam was hit by a shell on the face. He later succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.

An injured protester in an Imphal hospital.

An injured protester in an Imphal hospital.

A confrontation between the police and protesters in Imphal.

A confrontation between the police and protesters in Imphal.

The procession was in support of the ongoing movement in the state demanding implementation of the ILP. It is spearheaded by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit.

manipurcurfew07The Joint Committee is demanding the scrapping of the Manipur Regulation of Visitors Tenant and Migrant Workers Bill, 2015, and the introduction of a bill to implement the ILP in the current session of the state assembly to “safeguard the interests of indigenous people and fulfil their aspirations”.

Some residents of Imphal posing with a demand for the ILP.

Some residents of Imphal posing with a demand for the ILP.

Women in white clothing, a traditional act of mourning, walk on a street in Imphal in defiance of the curfew.

Women in white clothing, a traditional act of mourning, walk on a street in Imphal in defiance of the curfew.

manipurcurfew02Even though prohibitory orders are in place, people have come out in large numbers to register their protest against it and demand the state government introduce the inner line permit system.

A protester nabbed by the police.

A protester nabbed by the police.

When the curfew was relaxed for a few hours...

When the curfew was relaxed for a few hours…

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Ragailong Torch Rally (2)The photos in this story were all mailed to The Wire by residents of Imphal.

 

  • tirudesi

    I am impressed with the power of the people. That they removed a bill with five days of protest and have the promise of a new one within 90 days and when they deemed that too long the turnaround was reduced to 30 days. There is a stark difference between this short sharp shock campaign and the treatment of Irom Sharmila. Nobody has any photos of her to send. The last time the media visited her in Imphal was a report by a South Indian newspaper in January 2015. The local press dare not file reports on either of the two trials against her in Imphal one at the High Court one at the Uripok Cheirap court. Let the people decide. They are prepared to fight to have a law protecting them from incursions by shopkeepers and barbers from other Indian States. It’s a democracy I can’t see the rest of India kicking up a fuss if that’s all they want. But paramilitaries Indians from other states can come into Manipur and act with impunity, so they can still kill rape extort in any order and they cannot be investigated or prosecuted like any other citizen. Given the only thing the MLAs have to do is to stop renotifying Disturbed Area Status to remove the AFSPA from the rest of Manipur they have already done so for Imphal City since 2004 during that season’s organized protests, it would be far easier and more quickly achieved. But apparently the people don’t want that. Nor do they have any photos of Sharmila. Nor do they stand beside her at her trials in Imphal. Perhaps Indians from Haryana Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and of course Delhi will stand beside her when she is presented for the last days of her trial at the Patiala Court in Delhi next month and Indian citizens can protest for the black law to be removed from Manipur given that Manipuris want to be rid of shopkeepers barbers and manual workers because people who work for their living are endangering traditional Meitei values of bandh blockade strike action and not doing manual work. On second thoughts she’ll be ignored in Delhi too. The rest of India is racist Manipuris say.