Tuesday, May 14, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

7th Manipur Rifles defies order

Imphal, May 13
The refusal by 600 personnel of the 7th Manipur Rifles Battalion to go on a transfer posting led to tension after they barricaded themselves and took up positions in their barracks at Khabeisoi on the outskirts of Imphal town yesterday, official sources said today.

The sources said the 7th Battalion personnel, transferred to Tahou in Senapati district by a government order, refused to leave and their family members prevented entry of the Director-General of Police (Manipur) A.A. Siddiqui when he went there with a large force.

The wooden bridge linking the barracks and the main road was also destroyed by the family members, the sources said.

As tension mounted, forces from 11th and 12th Manipur Rifles Battalions, Manipur Police Commandos, Border Security Force and CRPF surrounded the barracks and went on full alert after they were refused entry, they said.

The personnel of the 7th Battalion took up positions with arms, when their Commanding Officer, who was inside, shouted over a public address system for restraint and not to use arms.

A link was established with those inside after some hours, however, and the DGP and top police officials were allowed to go in, the sources said. The fire brigade and ambulances were kept ready during the standoff.

Three women family members of jawans fainted when more security forces rushed to the spot, the sources said. They were taken to a nearby hospital.

According to the sources, the personnel of the 7th Battalion demanded that they should not be transferred as it would dislocate their families since they had been posted at Khabeisoi for several years and their children studied in nearby places.

The DGP and officers assured the personnel of the 7th Battalion that their demands would be considered sympathetically, the sources said. The situation was now under control, they said.

The issue was likely to be discussed at a high-level meeting to be presided over by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, the sources added. PTI


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