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Home / India / Activists plan rally over arming civilians

Activists plan rally over arming civilians

Human rights workers in Manipur say they will hold a rally in the capital on Sunday to protest a government move to arm civilians in a decades-old battle with separatist insurgents.

india Updated: May 08, 2008, 16:41 IST
Reuters

Human rights workers in Manipur say they will hold a rally in the capital on Sunday to protest a government move to arm civilians in a decades-old battle with separatist insurgents.

Late on Wednesday, police arrested a youth leader after he organised a meeting in Imphal at which newspaper editors, lawyers, and leaders of women's groups expressed concern the decision would escalate violence in the state.

"Arming of villagers will lead to more anarchy in Manipur," Sapamcha Kangleipal, president of the Manipur Forward Youth Front, had said in his speech at the meeting.

"What will happen if the people demand arms from militants to fight the atrocities of security forces deployed for counter-insurgency?" he added.

Kangleipal was later arrested him for making a seditious statement, police said.

"A case has been registered against him for his remarks at the meeting. He has been arrested," a senior police officer in Imphal said.

Human rights activists said more arrests are likely to follow but say they will not be intimidated.

"We are apprehensive of more police action. But we are not going to remain silent," said one human rights activist, who requested not to be named.

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