Journalist killed in police firing, curfew reimposed

A journalist of a private TV channel was killed in police firing at Thangmeiband on supporters of the indefinite general strike in Manipur on its second day today and curfew was reimposed for 16 hours in Imphal East and West districts as violence spread to the capital complex here.

Thangjam Nanao Singh, a reporter of 'Prime Time' channel received bullet wounds on his chest when police opened fire to disperse bandh supporters who torched the vehicle of the officer-in-charge of Lamphel police station, official sources said. He succumbed to his injuries at the Regional Institute of Medical Science and Hospital here.
Following this curfew, which was withdrawn in the morning, was reimposed in the two districts from 2 pm for 16 hours.

Announcements on the reimposition of the curfew was made by the administration over the public address system cautioning people from venturing outside as violence was reported from different places.

State Home Minister Gaikhangam visited the hospital and condoled the death of Nanao Singh. He also appealed to the strikers, particularly Manipur Film Forum (MFF) to remain calm and and said efforts were on to trace and arrest the Naga militant who had molested the Manipuri actress.

Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, he said, is meeting Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in Delhi to discuss the militant's arrest as NSCN-IM is engaged in peace talks with the Centre.

The indefinite strike, called by MFF, is on demanding the arrest of NSCN(IM) militant Livingstone Anal for allegedly publicly molesting Manipuri actress Momoko during a musical concert in Chandel district on December 18.

President of All Manipur Working Journalists Union Mobi Singh has meanwhile demanded that the police return the camera used by Nanao Singh in which the reporter had taken several pictures of the spot happenings. According to official reports a total four vehicles, including that of the officer-in-charge of Lamphel police station, were set ablaze by strike supporters in East and West Imphal districts.

The three other vehicle were torched at Andro parking area, Langol and Khurai, all near here. Besides, the office of the sub-divisional officer at Laiphamkhunou in Imphal west district was also set ablaze by the agitators.

Official sources said police burst tear gas shells to disperse bandh supporters at Thangmeiband, Khurai, Sagolband, Andro Parking - all in capital complex but no casualty was reported.

Some people were injured when the agitators pelted stones at the general public in Imnphal East and West Districts, the sources said. The police personnel also chased away the agitators, who were blocking roads from various places and asked people to remain indoors during the curfew.

Hundreds of people from hills who had come to the capital town were stranded and would be transported back with official escort to enable them participate in Christmas festivities, the sources added.

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