Imphal: Amidst the controversy over reported use of pellet guns during the recent students’ protests against the killing of two young students, Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) asked the Superintendent of Police of Imphal West District to submit a report as to who gave the command to use excessive force against students staging rallies in Imphal.
The commission headed by its Chairman Justice Utpalendu Bikas Saha (retired) also asked the Commissioner (Home) to inform it how much interim compensation could be provided to the injured students on or before the next date of hearing of the case.
Justice Saha on Wednesday visited three hospitals where nine pellet gun injured students are now under medical treatment.
MHRC sources said that the commission took up the case based on two complaints filed by Ningthoujam Jit Singh, of Singjamei Okram Leikai and one Mukul Phukon of Assam’s Shivsagar, subject matter of complaints being inhuman and brutal abuse by the armed forces and security forces to the peaceful students’ protests.
The complaints alleged that on September 26 and 27, there was a peaceful rally organised by the students against the killing of 17-year-old girl student Hijam Linthoingambi and 20-year-old Phijam Hemjit on July 6 and the security forces violating the norms applied excessive force.
The photographs of the two slain students were circulated on different social media platforms on September 25 triggering the intense agitations in which at least 100 students, including girls, were injured after they clashed with the security forces, who prevented them from marching towards the Chief Minister’s bungalow.
Of the 100 injured students, at least ten were seriously wounded by the pellet guns.
The complainants in their petition also alleged that the state police as well as central forces used excessive force without any warning to the peaceful students, while they were taking out a rally, as a result of which many students were injured.
According to a complainant, security personnel assaulted a student by forcing him to lie flat on the road at Moirangkhom, Imphal West. The complaint also mentioned other cases of assault of students.
The commission also asked the Director General of Police to submit a status report on or before November 9.
The commission in its order said: “It has also been brought to our notice that on September 28, the Director General of Police has constituted a Committee to look into the various report/allegations of use of excess force by the security forces during maintenance of law and order situations in the last few days in Imphal area. It also appears from the newspaper that the State government has taken responsibility for treatment of the injured students.”
In view of the students’ agitations, the state government has shut all schools in the state till October 5 besides re-imposing the ban on mobile internet services till October 6.