Journalist injured in police action over border fencing in Manipur

A woman journalist was injured by a police stun bomb while she was covering a protest held by women vendors and volunteers of the United Committee Manipur (UCM) at Lamlong Bazar, Imphal East on the Inia-Myanmar border fencing issue.

Police personnel led by the Porompat OC reportedly hurled a stun bomb directly at media persons who were covering the agitation.

Sources said the injured was identified as 24-year-old Linda Mangsatabam, a reporter of the local evening daily Pandam. She suffered injuries on her right foot and was rushed to JNIMS Hospital for treatment, the sources said.

Treatment is in progress and her condition is stable, according to doctors at the hospital.

During the agitation, secretary of district affairs of UCM, Soibum Anil also sustained leg injuries; he was also hospitalised at JNIMS and is now in stable condition.

The protest was held as the government failed to bring an amicable solution to the state border issue after June 20. The UCM started launching agitations since Tuesday (at the Kangla gate) as the government failed to respond to their demand.

The UCM alleged that the BRTF has started taking up border fencing work within the territory of Manipur and not on the border. It demanded a clear-cut demarcation of the India-Myanmar boundary.

Wednesday's stir was a continuation of the agitation that will continue in different parts of the state until their demand is met, said UCM president Joychandra Konthoujam.

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Suppressing such democratic agitation by the state police using excessive force is unfortunate, he said and questioned, “Give a reason why we cannot say that there is state police support in the destruction of the territorial integrity of Manipur?”

“Stop using excessive force in such democratic protest,” the president said to the state police.

Stating that the UCM will never allow compromising any land of Manipur for the sake of Act East Police or friendship with the Myanmar government, he said the UCM, along with the people of Manipur, will always stand for Manipur’s integrity and there will be no retreat.

“Whoever is against the integrity of Manipur will be considered as enemy of Manipur”, he said appealing to the state government and the External Affairs Ministry to reconsider the demand and take up a genuine demarcation process of the India-Myanmar border.

The president also demanded immediate suspension of the Porompat OC who used excessive force during the democratic process which led to the hospitalisation of a woman journalist and an executive of UCM.