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Three students killed in Manipur

NPN Report
Mao Gate (Manipur), May 7, 2010: Three students were killed and 74 others injured when Indian Reserve Battalion personnel and police commandos resorted to indiscriminate firing and hurled tear gas at the public rally organized by Naga Women Union Manipur (NWUM) and United Naga Council (UNC) here on Thursday's afternoon.

The death casualties include N Chakho, 21, a BA first year student in St Joseph College Bangalore, Daikho Lhousu, a BA II student from St Joseph College, Jakhama and N Lokho, 30, who recently completed his master studies -- succumbed to injury while being taken to Kohima.

The Red Cross team from Kohima, which visited the Mao Gate this afternoon, confirmed the number of injured persons to 74, including 44 females and 30 males. The number of casualties is still expected to increase.

The violent incident occurred when several hundreds of Nagas took to the road at Mao gate in protest against the ban imposed on NSCN Ato Kilonser Muivah's visit to Ukhrul district by Okram Ibobi Singh's government. The situation turned awry when security personnel halted the rally purportedly moving towards the Manipur-Nagaland border, where a security has been fortified to prevent the entry of NSCN supremo.

IRB personnel and police commandos, after failing to stop the rally, attacked them with rifles butt, tear gas and resorted to indiscriminate firing. The whole episode, which happened in the presence of few media persons at around 10.30am, began when the peaceful procession reached at a spot about 1km from Manipur-Nagaland border.

The rallyists, turned a victim of circumstances, retaliated by pelting stones and set on fire seven vehicles belonging to security personnel -- in which one bus was gutted beyond repair.

There were several rounds of gunshot fired and more than 200 shells of tear gas were used against the civilians. The road along the Mao Gate was seen with streak of blood, and strewn with empty shells of tear gas, shoes, slippers among others left behind in frenzy by the rallyists.

The situation, however, was brought under control after more than an hour tussle.       

NWUM president Grace Shatsang also sustained leg injury when a tear gas exploded right on her feet. Her condition is however stated to be stable.

The body of Chakho, son of Nili, and Lhousu, son of Daikho, both from Kalinamei village is lying at Mao police station until filing of this report.

The Red Cross rushed to the Mao Gate but was denied entry for nearly an hour at the inter-state border. After hectic negotiation, the team was allowed to visit the area for medical aid and managed to bring the seriously injured to various hospitals in Kohima by Red Cross Team.