IMPHAL - Shoot-at-sight orders have been issued in this curfew-bound capital of Manipur, with the state rocked by a wave of violent protests over an alleged fake encounter in which a surrendered militant was killed, officials said Wednesday.
An indefinite curfew was clamped late Tuesday after protests against the alleged fake encounter death of a 27-year-old former rebel turned violent.
“Curfew was imposed following several incidents of protesters trying to block roads, burn effigies of the chief minister, besides burning tyres on the streets,” a senior police official said.
Police Tuesday burst teargas shells and baton charged the protesters, besides firing in the air to disperse angry mobs.
“The situation is under control, although tension still prevails. Shoot-at-sight orders have been issued against anyone found violating the curfew orders,” the police official said.
“We shall review the situation and see if we can relax curfew for a few hours to enable people to buy essentials,” he added.
The immediate provocation for the string of protests was the publication of a set of photographs that punctured the security forces’ claim that they had killed a youth following a gunfight.
The photographs clearly revealed that the youth, Chongkham Sanjit, was taken inside a pharmacy by security forces in capital Imphal unchallenged and then his dead body was brought out.
“We want the chief minister’s resignation as well as a judicial enquiry into the entire incident,” said Radhabinod Koijam, former chief minster and leader of the opposition Nationalist Congress Party.
“Extra judicial killings by security forces in Manipur have assumed alarming proportions. The case of Chongkham Sanjit is another example of fake encounters,” Suhas Chakma, chairman of the Asian Centre for Human Rights, told IANS.
The state government maintains the Sanjit was killed in a gunfight.
“We shall inquire into the matter,” Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said.
There are an estimated 19 rebel groups active in Manipur, bordering Myanmar, with more than 10,000 people killed in the last two decades of insurgency in the state.