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Manipur declares militant who molested actress 'wanted'

December 24, 2012 22:59 IST

The Manipur government declared as 'wanted' the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM militant, who had allegedly molested a Manipuri film actress, as protests against it grew on the third day of the indefinite bandh and curfew was clamped in the entire valley area to defuse the situation on Monday.

According to a notice issued by the home department on Monday evening, Rs 5 lakh would be awarded to any person for information leading to the arrest of the militant Livingstone Anal.

The Chandel police has also registered an FIR in connection with the December 18 alleged molestation of the actress Momoko by the militant, the notice said.

Earlier in the day, police used teargas and smoke bombs to disperse hundreds of protesters, who have defied the curfew clamped on Manipur valley to demand the arrest of the militant for molesting the actress in public during a musical concert at Chandel and to protest the death of a photojournalist on Sunday.

The protesters took out rallies, blocked roads and burnt tyres in Imphal east, Imphal West, Bishenpur and Thoubal districts, official sources said. They hit the streets as soon as the 16-hour curfew, clamped in Imphal east and Imphal west districts from 2 pm on Sunday, ended on Monday morning.

The police fired smoke bombs and teargas at Thangmeiband, near Imphal, where photojournalist Thangjam Nanao Singh was killed in a police firing, they said.

The protesters shouted slogans against the killing and demanded a judicial enquiry and punishment for the policemen responsible.

A spokesman of the Kangleipak Students Organisation also demanded an inquiry into Sunday's police firing.

Official sources said the police fired teargas shells at Irilbung on the outskirts of the city, at Khuyathong, Sagolband, Wangkhei, Nongmeibung and other places.

At the Nagamapal area in Imphal and some other places on the periphery of the city, hundreds of people defied curfew and took out rallies to demand arrest of the militant who was reported to be hiding in the jungles in Chandel district.

At Sinam Leikai, a bus which was to transport people to the Ukhrul hill district to enable them to celebrate Christmas, was set ablaze, they said.

At Tharoijam area, the protestors set afire a two wheeler after it attempted to pass through a road blockade with the rider managing to escape, police said.

The house of the president of Manipur Film Forum Surjakanta Sharma at Nagamapal area was partly destroyed by protestors for announcing a relaxation of the 'general strike' on Sunday evening.

Sharma had on Sunday announced relaxation of the general strike from Monday midnight till December 26 midnight in view of Christmas.

A section of the MFF, which had called the strike, had, however, disagreed and told the local media last evening that there was no question of the relaxation.

 At Wangkhei, Nongmeibung in Imphal East district and some places in Imphal West district, effigies of the Naga militant Livingstone Anal was burnt, the police said.

An effigy of the militant was also carried in a mock funeral procession as per Manipuri tradition at Wangkhei.  

The militant had allegedly molested actress Momoko and threatened two other artistes at Chandel on December 18 and also fired from his gun.

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