Correspondent IMPHAL, Sep 1: Protestors on Sunday burnt the effigy of Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh and principal of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School Ph Landhoni allegedly after the government failed to address the demands of the JAC against the alleged killing of N Babysana Chanu, a class-VII by staying at the hostel of Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School, Canchipur (Imphal)who was found hanging in her hostel dormitory on July 18 last.
With reek of foul-play and later something fishy in the police investigation, the JAC with the active supports of various student bodies and pressure groups has been demanding a fair investigation by handing over the case to CBI.
With the agitation continuing unabated, police have arrested some officials of the private school including its founder cum principal Ph Landhoni and leaders and members of the JAC.
So far police have arrested 18 members of the JAC including its convenor and co-convenor on the charge of spearheading the agitation that caused disturbances in the maintenance of law and order in the state.
As the police launched a fresh crackdown against the JAC members as well as family members of the deceased student including her parents, a palpable tension was brewing in Thangmeiband area, the epicentre of the series of protest.
The police conducted a fresh crackdown following the announcement of a 48-hour general strike in the state from 6am on Monday.
The JAC called for general strike alleging that the state government befooled the people, particularly the JAC by saying that the case has been handed over to CBI, alleging that the case has not been handed over to CBI as revealed by the chief minister in the house of the recently concluded monsoon session of the state Assembly.
The JAC set September 1 as deadline to translate into work the assurance given by the chief minister regarding handing over the case to CBI.
The JAC is also demanding release of its leaders and members arrested by the police and currently in the judicial custody immediately and without any condition.
Ahead of the proposed general strike, a group of protestors today burnt the effigies of chief minister and Ph Landhoni, founder cum principal of the Standard Roberth Higher Secondary School, Canchipur at Thangmeiband Sinam Leikai where local residents staged a demonstration demanding justice for the deceased student.
The protestors shouted various slogans against the government and asked whether the leaders of the incumbent government were in the hands of some powerful influential persons.
Talking to reporters after burning the effigies, a woman JAC member demanded that police must stop searching for the JAC members and family members of the deceased student immediately.
She said if government think that crackdown against the JAC members and harassing family members of Babysana would able to supress the movement of the people, then it will be an immature of the government.
She cautioned that the state government will not be able to supress the people’s movement by spreading false propaganda against the JAC leaders and members.
She claimed that following repeated visits by the police and fearing further atrocities from them, parents and other members of the deceased Babysana have left their house to hide themselves and avoid harassment meted out by them (police).
“The house is under lock, we don’t know where the family members had gone. We believed that they left home due to police harassment,” she said.
She warned that intense agitation will be followed if the state government fails to address the demands of the JAC even after the proposed 48-hour general strike.
JAC will go ahead with the proposed 48-hour state-wide general strike, she said and appealed to the people to extend fullest cooperation to make the general strike a success.
On August 28, the JAC had set September 1 deadline to the government to fulfil its demand while threatening it would impose the 48-hour on the next day. If the state government fails to fulfil the demands of the JAC on or before September 1, the JAC will go ahead with the proposed general strike, JAC had threatened in a press statement issued on August 28.
The press release signed by the convenor in-charge of the JAC, L Gyaneshwari stated that the JAC had demanded immediate release of its members, who are in police custody, as well as for the chief minister to head to Delhi and hand over the case to the CBI.