IMPHAL: Amidst mounting controversy surrounding the reported use of pellet guns during recent student protests in the state, the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has called upon the Superintendent of Police of Imphal West District to provide a detailed report regarding the authorisation of excessive force against students who were participating in rallies in Imphal.
The commission has undertaken this investigation in response to two complaints lodged by individuals, Ningthoujam Jit Singh from Singjamei Okram Leikai and Mukul Phukon from Assam’s Shivsagar. The complaints allege inhuman and brutal abuse by armed and security forces during student protests.
The complainants in their petitions also alleged that both state and central forces employed excessive force without prior warning to the peaceful students as they participated in the rally. Incidents were reported where security personnel allegedly assaulted students by forcing them to lie flat on the road at Moirangkhom, Imphal West, among other instances of student abuse.
In response to these allegations, the MHRC has also issued a directive to the Director General of Police (DGP) to submit a status report by November 9. The commission took note of the fact that the DGP had already formed a committee to investigate various reports and allegations of excessive force used by security forces during recent law and order situations in Imphal.
Additionally, the commission acknowledged that the government has undertaken the responsibility of treating the injured students in light of the ongoing student protests. In response to the unrest, the government has temporarily closed all schools in Manipur until October 5 and has reimposed a ban on mobile internet services until October 6 to maintain order.
Chairman of the MHRC, Justice Utpalendu Bikas Saha (retired), on Wednesday, also visited three hospitals where nine students, injured by pellet guns, are currently receiving medical treatment.
The protests, which began on September 26 and 27, were organised by students in response to the killing of 17-year-old girl student Hijam Linthoingambi and 20-year-old Phijam Hemjit on July 6.
During the rallies, at least 100 students, including girls, clashed with security forces, who prevented them from marching towards the Chief Minister’s bungalow. Among these injured students, at least ten were seriously wounded by pellet guns.