Imphal: At least 34 students, including girls, were injured after hundreds of students took to the streets in Imphal on Tuesday to protest against the killing of two young students by unidentified armed assailants.
The police said that 34 students were injured after the agitating students clashed with the security forces, who prevented them from marching towards Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s bungalow.
The security forces used tear gas shells and smoke bombs to disperse the agitating students. The injured students have admitted to various hospitals for treatment.
Hundreds of students from various schools gathered on the streets on Tuesday after photographs of the bodies of two missing students went viral on social media.
Seven-teen-year-old girl student Hijam Linthoingambi and 20-year-old Phijam Hemjit had gone missing on July 6 during the height of ethnic violence in Manipur. Their families suspected that they had been killed by armed assailants.
An official from the Chief Minister’s Secretariat said that the Manipur government has handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), while the security forces have also initiated a search operation to nab the perpetrators.
The official said that the state police, in collaboration with the central security agencies, are investigating the case to determine the circumstances surrounding their disappearance and to identify the perpetrators.
“In response to this distressing situation, the government assures the public that a swift and decisive action will be taken against all those involved in the kidnapping and killing of Phijam Hemjit and Hijam Linthoingambi. The government is committed to ensure justice for the victims and will impose severe punishment on any perpetrator found responsible for this heinous crime,” an official statement said.
It added that the state government encourages the public to exercise restraint and to let the authorities handle the investigation.
According to Inspector General of Manipur Police (Operations), I.K. Muivaa, at least 175 people have been killed, 1,108 injured and 32 remain unaccounted for since the ethnic violence erupted in the state on May 3.