BJP MLA arrested for ‘defying’ curfew
IMPHAL, January 23
Manipur BJP MLA Khumukcham Joykishan was arrested on Saturday after he was charged with defying a curfew imposed in Thangal bazaar and its surrounding areas here following which two of his supporters were injured during clashes with police.
An indefinite curfew was clamped in Thangal bazaar and its surrounding areas from 6 pm yesterday after unrest continued over construction of a temporary market shed in the market area. The Manipur government has imposed an indefinite curfew in Thangal bazaar, Khoyathong, Nagamapal road, Kasturi bridge and Ima Keithel areas of Imphal West since protest in Thangmeiband over construction of a temporary market continued, officials said.
Thangmeiband MLA Joykishan was arrested by police around 10 am after he led a protest rally in the curfew-bound areas. The police foiled the rally using tear gas shells and water cannons. The rally, organised by Thangmeiband Kendra Development Organisation (TAKDO), kicked-off from Khoyathong and was heading towards Bir Tikendrajit Flyover at Khwairamband bazaar. Earlier, the protesters gathered at Khoyathong Pukhri Achiouba.
Most of the demonstrators were volunteers and residents of Thangmeiband. The organisation has been demanding the government to stop construction of the temporary market shed at the ‘busy market’ and arrange it somewhere else considered to be a proper site.
The protesters clashed with police after the arrest of the MLA in Nagamapal RIMS Road area. The police fired tear gas shells after the demonstrators resorted to stone pelting.
Joykishan told journalists at the site that Manipur government can take any action against him while vowing to support the stir until the demand of TAKDO and Thangmeiband people is met.
The under construction market shed meant to accommodate some 1000 women vendors of Laxmi Market and New Market which developed cracks due to the January 4 earthquake measuring 6.8 on Richter scale.
TAKDO said people of Thangmeiband and the organisation will not allow the government to continue with its plan. It announced that a sit-in protest will be staged until the local MLA, who is also the chief patron of the social organisation, is released. The organisation also said an indefinite relay hunger strike will be launched from tomorrow to pressurise the state government.