Imphal : Curfew was imposed tonight in two districts in Manipur as violence escalated on the first day of an indefinite bandh called to protest alleged molestation of a film actress by a NSCN-IM militant.
Official sources said curfew was imposed in Imphal East and Imphal East districts from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am tomorrow in view of the violence which left nine persons injured. Imphal town lies between the two districts separated by the Imphal river.
The sources said the curfew could be extended tomorrow if the situation further deteriorates. They said the police burst tear gas shells and fired rubber bullets at Sagolband area near here when bandh supporters turned violent, injuring four persons including a woman. Five others were injured in police action elsewhere.
They said supporters of the bandh, called by the Manipur Film Forum (MFF) burnt tyres and blocked roads at various places, pelted stones at vehicles and damaged a police van in Imphal.
Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh left for Delhi to meet Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for the arrest of self-styled NSCN(IM) Lt Col Livingstone Anal, who allegedly molested film actress Momoko while she was compering a song competition at Chandel on December 18, official sources said.
The sources said NSCN-IM members could not be arrested as the outfit was engaged in peace talks with the Centre after signing a ceasefire agreement about 14 years ago although it was in force only in Nagaland.
All shops, markets, business establishments and entertainment houses remained closed while transport services were cancelled.
The decision to call the bandh was taken last evening in protest against the administration not taking steps to arrest the NSCN(IM) militant. Official reports from the districts particularly in the valley said police forces were deployed at various points as bandh supporters demanded immediate arrest of the militant.
In a related development an assistant sub inspector of police, a head constable and three constables were suspended for not taking action when the militant allegedly molested the actress and fired from his gun. —PTI