A freelance television cameraman died in Imphal on Sunday when the police opened fire during a protest held against the molestation of a well-known actor.
The 20-year-old actor was allegedly molested by a cadre of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (IM) during a music concert in Chandel town, 60 km south of Imphal, on December 18. To protest against the incident, the Film Forum of Manipur - in association with other civil society organisation - had called an indefinite strike since Friday.
The strike has paralysed normal life in the state. In Imphal town, the strikers have blocked most of the roads with stones and burning tyres.
On Sunday, around 1pm, cameraman Th Dwijamani, 32, a resident of Imphal's Thangmeiband Sinam district, was covering the protest near his home. But he was hit by a bullet and was declared dead when he was taken to the RIMS hospital.
A former cameraman with a Guwahati-based TV channel, Dwijamani was covering the event for an Imphal-based agency.
After his death, angry locals and the media fraternity rushed to the hospital. "We strongly condemn the police action and demand justice," said A Mobi, president of the All Manipur Working Journalists' Union.
CM O Ibobi, who had gone to New Delhi to discuss the situation in the state with Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, rushed back. The jawan involved in the firing will be suspended and a three-member panel has been formed to probe the incident, he said.
The administration, meanwhile, has imposed curfew in greater Imphal till December 24 to avoid any untoward incident.