Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei announced on Saturday night that the people who were agitating over the rape of a teenage girl, had agreed to call off the highway blockade following a negotiation with the government.
Buses, trucks, oil tankers and private vehicles, which had been stranded along Highway 39, started arriving in Imphal on Sunday. Empty trucks and oil tankers too left Imphal for Guwahati and other northeastern states.
Mr. Gangmei said that the government has agreed to give a employment to a kin of Tilak Poudeyal, who was killed in police firing on Friday. Though the agitating people had demanded a judicial inquiry they eventually accepted the government proposal for a high-level police inquiry to be headed by an Inspector General of Police.
Gitchandra, the officer in charge of Sekmai police station has been suspended. The government will also give all possible assistance to the rape victim. The accused rapist S. Ngaopuni had surrendered to the police. Mr. Gangmei said that he is now in police custody and law will take its own course in punishing him for raping the 13-year-old girl student. He said that such beastly behaviour by the 65-year-old man who has two sons and two daughters is really shameful.
On Saturday, there were protest meetings at different places. Protestors alleged that Tilak was overpowered and then shot dead from a close range with a hand gun. They alleged that shots were fired at higher level and not below the waist. Mr. Gangmei agreed that the police should have used water canon and rubber bullets instead of live rounds.
Prior to the meeting police tried to disperse the protestors who blocked the highway by firing tear gas canisters. Over ten women sustained injuries in the police crackdown. They had to be rushed to the nearby hospitals.