Village Defence Force personnel at Heirangoithong here allegedly went berserk, beating up passersby on Monday night. A number of youths were injured.

Reports say the personnel, who were appointed to assist the police, came out of their post following a disagreement among themselves and took it out on people who were walking that way. At this, locals tried to storm the VDF post, demanding that the personnel leave the place, but they opened fire in the air to disperse the mob. The situation was brought under control when the police came there and assured the people that action would be taken against the errant VDF personnel.

Lawyers beaten up

A little distance away, IRB troopers, guarding the main gate of the Manipur University, allegedly assaulted two lawyers on Sunday night.

At a news conference here on Monday, activists of the High Court Bar Association activists said if the Director-General of Police did not take disciplinary action against the IRB troopers and their immediate seniors, lawyers would launch agitations.

The injured lawyers, Ngangom Jotindra and Samarjit Hawaibam, removed their shirts to show the scars of beatings.

It is said Mr. Hawaibam produced his identity card and asked the IRB troopers whether Mr. Jotindra could use the thoroughfare to go home, located behind the university. But the troopers snatched the card and attacked him with batons and rifle butts. When Mr. Jotindra intervened, he was also beaten up.

The commander of the post, who rushed there, also started beating up the lawyers.

An hour later they were handed over at the police station and released at 10.30 p.m., after having been forced to sign blank papers.

Women protest “encounter”

At Sekmaijin in Thoubal district, women blocked roads and refused to claim the body of a youth, shot dead in an “encounter” with a combined force of police commandos and troopers of 21 Assam Rifles at midnight on Monday night near a hillock.

However, family members said Chongtham Sanjoy (21) had been arrested by the police commandos from near his house.

Reports said that about two years ago the youth had been a member of the banned Kanglei Yawol Kunna Lup and he had been away from home for over two months.

But on health grounds he was discharged from the underground outfit and he was eking out a living through fisheries.