Manipur: Union Minister RK Ranjan Singh’s House Attacked Again

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Posted in Featured, Manipur, Northeast
NET Web Desk

Guwahati, July 24, 2023: A peaceful women’s rally outside the Imphal residence of Union Minister R K Ranjan Singh took an alarming turn when the protestors resorted to violence, hurling stones at the house. The demonstrators were demanding that the minister address the situation in the ethnically strife-affected state during the Parliament session.

This incident marked the second attack on the house of the junior minister for external affairs in the past two months. Fortunately, at the time of the attack, there was no one present in the house, and the damage caused was minimal.

In another part of the city, students from Manipur University also took to the streets in a separate rally, urging the restoration of peace in the state. However, the police intervened and fired tear gas shells to disperse the students when they attempted to march beyond the area where permission had been granted for the rally.

These incidents follow the surfacing of a distressing video on July 19, showing two women being paraded naked and molested by a group of men in the Kangpokpi district on May 4. The video has garnered condemnation nationwide, drawing attention to the precarious situation in Manipur.

During the rally at the Union minister’s residence, the protestors also voiced their demands for the restoration of internet services in the state. The authorities had imposed an internet ban across the northeastern state initially on May 3, amidst clashes between ethnic communities. The ban has been extended since then “to prevent any disturbance of peace and public order.”

One of the protesters expressed, “We demand that the minister speak in Parliament about the situation in the state. We want internet services back. We want to tell people what is happening to us.”

It is essential to note that on June 15, a mob had attacked the minister’s residence and attempted to set it on fire. However, security personnel and firefighters effectively thwarted the arson attempts and safeguarded the house.

Meanwhile, students from Manipur University continued their rally in Imphal town, initiating from the varsity’s gate at Canchipur. While the police had granted permission for the rally to extend up to Kakwa, approximately two kilometers away, the students insisted on proceeding further, towards Singjamei, which is about four kilometers from the varsity gate. The police’s use of tear gas to disperse the rallyists resulted in a tense exchange of words between the officers and the students. The students maintained that they were unarmed and were peacefully pursuing their rally to advocate for peace.

The situation in Manipur remains tense as various groups express their grievances and demands for resolution and restoration of peace in the region.

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