Police ‘raid’ NPP MLA's house in Manipur as he takes oath in Assembly

Police said a recent video of the MLA's victory procession showed the NPP workers brandishing guns and firing in the air.
A person who got injured  during the clash with police (Photo | EPS)
A person who got injured during the clash with police (Photo | EPS)

GUWAHATI: The Manipur Police on Monday “raided” the house of National People’s Party (NPP) MLA Sheikh Noorul Hassan “in pursuit of a criminal case” even as he was being administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Assembly.

The police had arrived in the house without informing the family and picked up some NPP workers. The act triggered outrage among Hassan’s supporters and they fought a pitched battle with the police.

At least four persons, including a policewoman, were injured in the incident that occurred outside Porompat police station at the Kshetrigao constituency in Imphal East district.

Hassan, who had won the election by defeating the sitting BJP MLA, belongs to a family of civil servants. His one brother is a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs while another is a Deputy Secretary in Manipur government. His wife is an Additional District Magistrate in Assam.

Imphal East Superintendent of Police Maharabam Pradip Singh said the police had received reports on March 11 around 11 pm of a confrontation between BJP and NPP workers when a procession was being taken out to celebrate Hassan’s victory.

Singh said a video had gone viral subsequently wherein NPP workers could be seen brandishing guns and firing in the air. He said the procession had provoked the BJP workers and some confronted the NPP workers.

“The police brought the situation under control but both sides complained of brandishing gun and threatening each other. Later, two FIRs were registered,” the SP said.

He said the police had launched an operation and picked up 16 persons, belonging to both sides, on Monday. Later, he added, a mob arrived at the police station and demanded the release of the people.

“Soon, the crowd became violent and in order to control the situation, the police fired tear gas shells and mock bombs and the crowd pelted stones. I got hit by a stone. A lady constable was injured and profusely bleeding. She was taken to a hospital,” Singh said.

He said 19 persons, including 13 women, were arrested in connection with the mob violence. He said all the 35 arrested persons would be produced in the court.

The SP said the police had gone to the house of Hassan in pursuit of the criminal case after suspecting the presence of some accused on the MLA’s residential premises. “We did not go there to conduct a search operation,” he said.

But Hassan viewed the police action as a breach of his privilege. He served a notice for breach of privilege against the SP and three other police officers.

“The FIR has nothing to do with me. I am an elected representative. How can the police search my residence without permission from the protem speaker? This must be a precedent,” the MLA told this newspaper.

“None of us was at home. I was in the Assembly while my family members had gone to attend a function. The police had conducted a raid at my residence without informing me and without an arrest warrant,” the MLA said.

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The New Indian Express