Self-immolation attempt near Manipur CM's office

IMPHAL, JULY 24. Five youths attempted self-immolation near the gates of the Manipur Chief Minister, O. Ibobi Singh's, office here today during curfew relaxation hours to press for withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the State.

The police sprang in to action and doused the flames but not before three of the youths received serious burn injuries, official sources said.

The three were rushed to Regional Institute of Medical Science hospital in critical condition, the sources said.

Tension gripped the area after the incident which took place when the indefinite curfew, clamped on July 15 in view of widespread violence, protests and demonstrations following the killing of Th Manorama Devi, was relaxed for 12 hours for the day. The identity of the youths was not yet known but Manipur Forward Youth Front (MFYF), a major youth front, had earlier threatened to intensify its agitation to press its demand for withdrawal of the Act, the sources added.

MFYF had earlier called 48-hour Manipur bandh on July 13 to protest against the killing of the 30 year-old woman allegedly by Assam Rifles and to press for withdrawal of the Act.

Immediately after the self-immolation attempt by the youths, a group of students of Manipur University assembled in front of the Raj Bhavan here defying prohibitory orders to demand the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the State.

Police lathicharged them causing injuries to at least four of them, official sources said adding that the injured were taken to Regional Institute of Medical Science Hospital. The students wanted to submit a memorandum to the Governor, Arvind Dave. Official sources had earlier said some students were injured during a lathicharge. -- PTI

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