Tension is running high following the death of a protestor in police firing late Friday. The police were trying to control a mob during a highway blockade demanding arrest of the 65-year-old man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl student on Thursday. Highway 39 is blockaded from Friday midnight and additional forces have rushed to Kanglatongbi in Senapati district to maintain law and order. The victim, a Nepali girl, is originally from Kanglatongbi in Senapati district.

The accused, identified as S. Ngaopuni, took the girl on the pretext of arranging for her to cast vote impersonating his daughter who is studying B.Sc nursing in Delhi. However reports said that he took her in his car to a hillock instead of the polling station. He is alleged to have rape the girl there. Medical examination has established rape.

On hearing the cries of the girl, a motorist thrashed the accused. However the accused tried to bribe the motorist. During the melee the girl escaped and took shelter in the house of a relative there.

Later in the night, angry villagers blocked the highway from Kanglatongbi to Sekami demanding the arrest of the culprit. There was a face ff with the police commandos who tried to disperse the mob. Some persons reportedly pelted stones at the police commandos. In retaliation the police fired tear gas canisters and mock bombs. When they could not disperse them they resorted to firing with live rounds.

Sources said that in the late night firings Tilak Poudeyal was killed on the spot. Two others, Bir Karki and Hemant Sharma, are battling for their lives in a private hospital. Representatives of the Manipur Gurkha Students Union, the Bharatiya Gurkha Parisangma,the Gurkha Welfare Union said that they waited till the time set by the local MLA Erabot Yumkham for the arrest of the culprit. They resorted to the highway blockade when the police could not arrest the culprit within the deadline. Some of the protesters also tried to demolish the house of the accused located in Imphal. The representatives said that there will be more agitations if the culprit is not accounted for. The family members are not claiming the dead body as yet demanding justice.

Police have stepped up security measures at Paomai colony where the house of the accused is located.