Three dead, scores injured in Manipur violence

Imphal, Sep 1 (IANS) Three people died and many others sustained injuries in Manipur following a mob violence that erupted over three bills passed in the state assembly, officials said on Tuesday.

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The violence took place on Monday night in Churchandpur, where an indefinite curfew has been imposed to control the law and order situation.

The officials said the mob comprised of members of tribal students organisations protesting against the Manipur government’s adoption of three landmark bills — Protection of Manipur People Bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (seventh amendment) Bill 2015, and Manipur Shops and Establishment (second amendment) Bill 2015.

The three bills were unanimously passed in the assembly on Monday after the ruling Congress signed an agreement with the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) on August 25 to enact three laws to protect the interest of the indigenous people.

The mob attacked the residence of five Congress lawmakers, including that of Health and Family Welfare Minister Phungzathang Tonsing and outer Manipur Lok Sabha member Thangsoi Baite.

The mob also set afire the vehicle of Churachandpur Deputy Commissioner Lunminthang Haokip and prevented fire engines from dousing the flames, even as police were forced to resort to a baton charge.

However, none of the lawmakers were at their residences. They were all in state capital Imphal attending the special legislative assembly session.

Tribal civil society groups opposed the introduction of the bills, saying they overlapped with some points in the Manipur Hill People Administration Regulation Act, 1947, meant to safeguard the interest of tribesmen in the hill areas of Manipur.

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