Manipur erupts in violence

Kolkata: A journalist was shot dead by police on the second day of the indefinite strike in Manipur called by a film body demanding the arrest of a Naga rebel leader who stands accused of molesting a Manipuri film actor.

Thangjam Dijamani alias Nanao, 29, was killed Sunday afternoon when the police opened fire at Thangmeiband area in Imphal West district to thwart supporters of the general strike who were setting fire to a police vehicle to enforce the shutdown.

Nanao, a reporter of the newspaper ‘Prime News’ was hit by a bullet on his chest and died on way to hospital.

As the news of the death spread, violence spread to different parts of Imphal valley in central Manipur, officials said.

The strike supporters, who have been demanding the arrest of NSCN(IM) militant Livingstone Anal for allegedly molesting Manipuri film actress Momoko in public view during a musical concert in Chandel district on Dec 18, stepped up their blockade of all major roads and fought pitched battles with the police.

Different organisations of child specialists have long been demanding the vaccine against pneumonia that accounts for one-fifth of the total number of deaths of children under the age of five.

Manipur Home Minister Gaikhangam, who visited the hospital to condole the death of Nanao, appealed to the agitators, specially the Manipur Film Forum (MFF) to remain calm and cooperate with the authorities to restore the situation.

Hundreds of journalists gathered at the Regional Institute of Medical Science and Hospital where Singh died. The body was later taken to the Manipur Press Club.

Earlier, police burst tear gas shells to disperse a mob which threw stones at the police vehicles in Imphal West district, official reports said.

The protesters had put logs and boulders on the roads and burnt tyres to prevent movement of patrolling police vehicles and the general people.

The general strike has affected the enthusiasm surrounding Christmas as people, particularly from the Christian-dominated hill districts could not come shopping.

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