Imphal: Manipur police Thursday fired tear gas to disperse large crowds trying to open barricades for the passage of Rahul Gandhi, who was stopped in front of Bishnupur police station from moving towards Churachandpur.
The Congress leader who came to Manipur on a two-day visit aimed at assessing the ongoing violence in the state on Thursday morning was expected to visit relief camps and interact with civil society representatives in Imphal and Churachandpur.
As he reached Imphal International Airport, Rahul was immediately headed towards Churachandpur, via Bishnupur. However, when he and his convoy of large Congress leaders reached Bishnupur, a huge police force led by the District Superintendent of Police, Heishnam Balaram stopped him in front of the Bishnupur police station from moving forward, leading to escalated tension and a confrontation.
The Congress leaders including former chief minister Okram Ibobi, CLP leader Gaikhangam, Congress state unit president K Meghachandra and others persuaded the police officer to let them pass, stating they would take responsibility for any incidents.
Congress leader Ibobi even warned the police officer not to play politics on the street and said that if the state government wanted to block them, they should have done so at the airport itself.
MPCC president K Meghachandra condemned the actions of the BJP government and he specifically pointed fingers at Chief Minister N Biren, alleging that the order to block Rahul Gandhi’s convoy was issued by him to the Bishnupur DC and SP.
The Congress leaders even told the police officer that they have already received clearance from the Home Ministry and the state government. However, there was no positive response from the police officer. Later, a large crowd of Congress supporters stormed the police barricades, which followed the firing of tear gas by policemen.
Later, Rahul and other Congress leaders returned to Imphal and took a helicopter to travel to Churachandpur.