Imphal, Jan. 3: Police today had to fire teargas shells to quell a group of protesters who had taken out a rally against the murder of a youth in Imphal East.
The body of Md Yahidur Rahman, 12, was found with multiple injuries at Lungdum hill under Irilbung police station at Keirao yesterday.
Rahman, a Class VI student from Keirao Litan, was missing since January 1 after he went to Lungdum hill to collect firewood. The body was found after a search.
The police this morning picked up three suspects, Salam Mocha Singh, 27, Nandeibam Sarjoy Singh, 24 and Kangabam Ibungo Singh, 16, for interrogation from their residences at Lungdum Makha Leikai, a neighbouring village.
Nearly 300 villagers from Keirao, Urup and Kshetrigao took out a rally from Keirao to Irilbung, demanding arrest and punishment of the culprits. The police stopped the protesters near the gate of Irilbung police station and had to fire teargas shells after the mob became restive and started shouting slogans.
Deputy Speaker Th. Shyamkumar Singh, who happened to be passing by, stopped and took a delegation of the protesters inside the police station to talk to the officers.
The police assured us that the culprits would be arrested soon and brought to book, said Md Hasimuddin, the convenor of a joint action committee formed in connection with the murder, after coming out of the police station. The protesters left after the assurance.
However, the action committee said they would not accept the body until the culprits were identified and arrested. The body is now kept at the RIMS mortuary.
Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh also assured a delegation of the joint action committee this morning that the culprits would be arrested as soon as possible.
The residents of Lungdum Makha Leikai also stormed the police station after the police picked up the three youths this morning.
The protesters went back to their village after the police assured them that the youths would be freed if found innocent. The police said they were yet to interrogate the three youths.