Manipur: Congress files FIR against BJYM President, Union MoS

Imphal, January 07 2022: In connection with the attack at the office of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Thursday evening along with the burning of effigies of Indian national Congress (INC) leaders, MPCC has lodged an FIR against the attackers, particularly BJP Yuva Morcha president Barish Sharma and Union Minister of State Social Justice Pratima Bhoumik at City police station.

Informing this to newspersons at Congress Bhawan here Friday, MPCC president N Loken recounted that on Thursday evening, a group of people led by BJYM president Barish Sharma not only carried out an act of violence in front of MPCC office but also burnt effigies of INC leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

Union minister of State for Social Justice Pratima Bhoumik directly lighted the effigies, which is unbecoming of a union minister.

Strongly condemning the incident, Loken said that BJP is resorting to violent means due to its desperate situation and impending defeat in the upcoming Assembly elections, which is set to be held in 5 states including Manipur.

He further condemned the police personnel present at the scene of Friday’s incident for standing by as spectators and acting as security for the BJYM president, as he went on to kick the gate of MPCC and assaulted MPCC general secretary Tilotama and MPCC Youth general secretary Bangkim and allowing the burning of the effigies.

“The duty of the police is to prevent violence and maintain peace and order, not to remain on the side as bystanders,” he remarked and urged the DGP to look into the matter.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Manipur in-charge Bhakta Charan Das, who also attended the press meet, also condemned the violent act committed by BJP on Thursday, while also chiding the indecorous act of union MoS Pratima Bhoumik, all of which are against the law and in violation of the Constitution.

Such acts have not been witnessed in other state; he observed and alleged that BJP is leading the youth of Manipur astray.

In connection with the incident, MPCC general secretary Hareshwar Goshwami contended oh Thursday that around 20-30 members of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) led by Barish Sharma “attacked the main gate of the MPCC with deadly weapons like sticks, stones and unidentified tools around 5 pm”.

It further alleged that members of the BJYM kicked, punched and pushed the youth Congress and NSUI office-bearers standing at the office gate while shouting un-parliamentary and using provocative slogans.

It may be mentioned here that a day after the security breach incident of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in Punjab, members of BJYM staged a protest, burnt effigies of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in front of Congress Bhawan.

A senior police officer said the matter was being looked into while a BJP official said party members just wanted to stage a protest against the PM’s security lapse, condemning the “undemocratic attitude” of Congress leaders.

Modi had visited Manipur on January 4 and launched a slew of projects for the development of the state.

Meanwhile, Barish Sharma, one of the accused persons named in the MPCC FIR over Thursday’s incident, was also reportedly involved during the violence that erupted during BJP’s opinion poll conducted to assess popularity of the party’s intending candidates in Bishnupur district on Saturday.

The BJYM president and returning officer of the opinion poll also fired several rounds in the air while fleeing from the angry mob.

Police sources said that the opinion poll to understand public opinion on the numerous intending candidates of BJP in the district began from early morning at the party’s district office.

Around 2 pm, Moirang MLA P Saratchandra’s workers raised objection against the voter list brought by the BJP team and demanded to use the list they brought.

The situation became tense and violence erupted when some of the workers tried to snatch the ballot boxes.

In the meantime, some workers of another BJP intending candidate came there and got involved in tussle.

On getting the information, a large number of Bishnupur district police rushed there, stopped the opinion poll and took the ballot boxes.

BJYM president Barish Sharma fled from the angry mob by firing several rounds of shots in the air, the report said.

Meanwhile, Barish along with BJP Manipur Pradesh general secretary L Deben and BJP Sahayogi (Assam) Vibhuti Bhuyan, in a report submitted to BJP Manipur Pradesh president, said that the incident occurred when Moirang MLA P Saratchandra raised objection to the voter list they brought and tried to snatch the ballot boxes.

Barish’s escort Akoijam Bankim had to fire several shots in the air in order to flee from the mob, who were attacking them and their vehicle, the report stated.

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