Imphal: Despite Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh‘s assurance that Assam Rifles would be withdrawn from the state within September, protests against the deployment of the force continued on Tuesday.
The Meira Paibis, a women’s vigilante group, have been leading the protests, demanding the complete removal of Assam Rifles from Manipur.
They are decrying the use of excessive force and live rounds by Assam Rifles in dealing with the agitating crowds mostly women at Pallel on September 8. Two people were killed and 90 people mostly women injured in the Pallel incident.
On Tuesday, the Meira Paibis locked the gates of several central government offices in the state, including the Central Agricultural University in Imphal. They also held sit-in protests in different areas of the valley district.
The Chief Minister’s assurance came after a meeting with a delegation of 30 Meira Paibis on Sunday night. He said that another force would be deployed in place of Assam Rifles within September.
However, the Meira Paibis are not satisfied with the assurance and have vowed to continue their protests until Assam Rifles is completely withdrawn from Manipur.
The protests have also drawn support from other civil society groups in Manipur. The All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) has called for a general strike on Wednesday to protest against the killing of civilians by Assam Rifles.
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