A student of Class 9 died in Imphal this afternoon as protesting students clashed with the police in Imphal East. Indefinite curfew has been clamped across the city and the situation is tense.
The protesting students were part of an organisation -- the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System -- which had been agitating for a tough law regarding an Inner Line Permit regime, a rule to restrict the entry of outsiders into the state.
The organisation mostly draws its strength from students, even school-going ones.
Police said they had used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the mob, which had been trying to head for the Manipur assembly. The boy had sustained fatal injuries in the melee.
Inner line permit regimes - areas where outsiders need an official permission to enter -- are in place in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. This means "non-locals" - both Indians and foreigners - can visit these places only with a state permit.
The rule was made during the British period to provide special protection to the indigenous people in parts of the northeast. But Manipur got left out since it was a princely state.
Now, the youths in Manipur want the law in place to protect jobs and other resources.
In March, the Manipur government tabled a bill in Assembly that will enforce the tracking of all outsiders who enter the state. But the protesters maintain the bill has no teeth
Yesterday, the protesters also enforced a day-long strike across the state, which though peaceful, had crippled life in Imphal and three other districts.