Imphal, Aug. 6: An all-political party meet today presided by chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh constituted a 13-member political committee headed by deputy chief minister Gaikhangam to examine and consult legal experts to see if a law can be enacted to protect the indigenous people of Manipur.
The meeting was held at the chief minister’s secretariat while student-police clashes turned Imphal streets into a war zone.
The meeting also resolved to invite the joint action committee on inner line permit in Manipur, a citizens’ conglomerate, which is heading the ongoing ILP movement in Manipur to discuss the issue of introduction of the permit in the state. Altogether 17 political parties, including the ruling Congress, Opposition parties the BJP, CPI, NCP and Trinamul Congress, attended the meeting.
The chief minister convened the meeting after renewed public agitation demanding ILP deteriorated the law and order situation in the valley in the past month.
The ILP issue came up for discussion in the recently concluded state Assembly’s budget session. The chief minister assured the House that he would convene an all-party meet and head a political delegation to Delhi.
The state Assembly adopted two resolutions, the first in 2012 and the second last year, urging the Centre to implement the system.
Ibobi Singh’s decision to convene the all-party meet came after the Centre did not respond to the Assembly’s resolutions.
As the ILP meet was in progress, school and college students took to the Imphal streets shouting slogans in support of their demand. “We want ILP,” they shouted.
Police lathi-charged student marchers at two places in the city. At Yumnam Leikai, students retaliated by hurling stones at the police, who in turn fired smoke bombs and tear gas shells.
The police also caned the mob at Sega Road, another part of the city, to turn back college students coming towards the chief minister’s office complex.
Scuffles broke out between student marchers and women police personnel armed with batons at various places in the city.
The police had a tough time controlling the situation and stopping the student marchers with women vendors joining the confrontation in support of the students and the demand.
The police finally turned the students back. After the scuffles, Imphal city remained shut in support of ILP. Some police personnel and students were injured in the clashes.