Suspension of policemen revoked in Manipur

Imphal, Feb 29 (IANS) The suspension of five police commandos, accused by the Naga Students’ Federation of manhandling their activists, was revoked by the Manipur government on Monday.

Following the announcement, the 20 Congress legislators who had threatened to boycott the ongoing budget session of the state assembly called off their agitation and attended the session, while the Naga Students’ Federation is yet to post a response.

Recalling the February 14 incident, the NSF said some its members attending the Naga seed sowing festival in Ukhrul district were intercepted by the five police commandos. The NSF alleged high-handedness with the policemen even snatching their mobile handsets.

But Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, who also holds the home portfolio, dismissed the allegations in the house. He said: “The students were not beaten up, harassed or detained. There would not have been the stand-off if the NSF delegates had cooperated with the police.”

Despite the categorical statement of the home minister, the DGP of Manipur, L.M. Khoute suspended all the five police commandos on February 25.

The All Manipur Students’ Union, Kangleipak Students’ Association, several civil organisations and groups protested the suspension. They said it was being done to appease the NSF. The 20 ruling Congress MLAs also backed this stand.

A special meeting of the Congress Legislature Party was convened on Sunday as demanded by the angry MLAs to discuss the matter. During the four-hour meeting, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh told them the suspension order will be revoked.

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