IMPHAL, April 9 - A designated camp belonging to United Revolutionary Front (URF-Chingkeinganba group) was set on fire by angry protesters after forcing the cadres to leave the camp on Friday.
Earlier, a group of armed URF cadres beat some villagers of Napet and resorted to blank firing which dispersed the crowd present at a Thabal Chongba programme in Lamlai area under Imphal East district. In retaliation, a large number of villagers attacked and torched the designated camp along with five two-wheelers.
Another two two-wheelers were pushed down into a nearby pond by the irate villagers hailing from Napet and its surrounding villages of Nungoi, Nongada and Lamlai Chatlou. The confrontation happened around 10.30 pm last night. Lamlai is located about 19 km from Imphal city.
Injuries were not reported in the incident. Initially, the URF cadres armed with double barrel guns conducted a checking on passers-by in the vicinity of the venue. They assaulted two Napet villagers for not turning off their vehicle�s headlight. They duo was on their way back home.
The organisers were alarmed that the conduct of the cadres might disrupt the event. They approached and requested them to discontinue the checking which was declined. Instead, two of them were thrashed at the spot which enraged the villagers.
The villagers also chased and attacked the cadres who fled the camp. Earlier, the outfit�s cadres opposed the Napet villagers move to organise the Thabal Chingba at the ground where their temporary designated camp was located. They then organised the programme at a nearby field. Thabal Chongba, a popular folk dance of the Meitei community, is held as part of Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba, the Meitei New Year which was celebrated yesterday.
Sources said the villagers have decided not to allow URF cadres to stay at their camp.
URF signed the suspension of operation agreement with the government recently and the group is currently under ceasefire. Unidentified assailants opened fire on the outfit�s camp on March 3 last. No one was injured in the attack.
PTI adds: People of Napet Palli and adjoining villages allegedly burnt 11 vehicles during the attack yesterday.
Police said though the militants fired several rounds, the people forced their way in and attacked the militants with stones and other available items.
At a public meeting, attended by the local MLA at Napet Palli, it was demanded that the designated camp be shifted as the cadres have been harassing the people since it was set up back in May 2014, activist Meira Paibi said.
A Joint Action Committee was also formed to fight any criminal activities in the area.
They also demanded that those involved in assaulting the villagers be punished.