CCpur/Kpi, May 25 2022: A massive protest rally demanding unconditional and immediate release of Dr Mark Thangmang Haokip taken out in Churachandpur town on Wednesday turned violent and police used fire tear gas shells and stun bombs to disperse the protesters.
International Human Rights Association (IHRA) chairman Dr Mark was arrested by Manipur police from New Delhi on Tuesday.
At about 11.40 am Wednesday, protesters demanding release of Dr Mark attempted to assemble at the Peace Ground, Churachandpur town but it was foiled by district police.
Protestors again assembled at Tuibuong community hall despite obstruction from police and took out a rally shouting slogans like ‘Release Mark Thangmang Haokip’, ‘We want justice’, etc.
On the ground that no permission was given for the rally, police tried to foil the rally and started dispersing the protesters.
Consequently, a melee broke out between police and protesters and this prompted police to fire tear gas cannisters and smoke bombs to disperse the protesters.
The protesters also retaliated by pelting stones towards the police.
Around 15 protesters were injured in the police action but all except three have been discharged after providing first aid treatment.
One woman, an elderly man and a young man are said to be undergoing treatment.
Later, a mob gathered in front of Tuibuong forest gate and marched towards the office of the DC Churachandpur in an apparent attempt to seek permission for taking out the rally but was denied.
As the mob grew, roadblocks/barricades in the middle of Tiddim road were put up to Churachandpur district boundary and this affected normal life in the town for the entire day.
However, a positive development came at about 5 pm when leaders spearheading the protest movement and DC Churachandpur reached an amicable settlement according to which a memorandum was allowed to be submitted to the DC.
Meanwhile, the district administration has clamped restrictions under CrPC 144 in the district but protesters are still continuing the agitation in pursuance of the demand for releasing Dr Mark Haokip unconditionally and immediately.
A similar protest demonstration demanding release of Dr Mark was also held on Wednesday at Kangpokpi town and in Chingdai area in the district.
At Kangpokpi, hundreds of protesters gathered at Brigadier M Thomas ground and demanded unconditional and immediate release of Dr Mark Haokip.
The protesters also shouted slogan ‘Release Dr Mark Haokip’ and used placards that read ‘Is the Constitution still alive’, ‘We fight for justice, not unlawful arrest’, ‘Justice for Dr Mark’, ‘Where is Law?’ and ‘Where is equality’ .
Meanwhile, prohibitory order under Section 144 Cr PC has been clamped in and around Brig M Thomas ground, Kangpokpi by district magistrate restricting gathering of more than four people in the area and carrying of lethal weapons.
Following the prohibitory order, Kangpokpi police swiftly monitored the situation and averted undesirable incident in a very tactful way.
The agitation ended after few leaders of the protestors were allowed to submit their representation addressed to Governor of Manipur to the DC Kangpokpi.