Massive protests have broken out in Imphal in Manipur after police firing during protests resulted in the death of a student. An indefinite curfew has been placed on Imphal East and West districts.
Sapam Robinhood, a class XI student from Anand Singh Academy Higher Secondary School is said to have been hit by a rubber bullet in the face. While critical, Robinhood was rushed to a private hospital but he died shortly after being admitted.
Since last week, protests in Manipur are being carried out by the women and student wings of Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) demanding the introduction of a bill which will safeguard indigenous people.
Earlier this year, the local Assembly had passed the Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tenants & Migrant Workers Bill in the wake of protests. However, activists allege that the Bill is intended to protect migrants and not indigenous people.
The protestors have been asking for incorporation of five points to a new bill that they say should be introduced instead, with the most important point denying migrants land ownership right. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi has however rejected this, saying migrants are Indian citizens, after all.
A series of strikes have taken place to draw the attention of the government in this matter.
After the student’s death, a large number of other students have staged sit-in protests. While heavily armed policemen have been deployed in all tense areas, the government has also closed down all educational institutions.