Six women sustained injuries when the police fired tear gas shells and smoke bombs at a marketplace here to disperse protesters, who had enforced a road blockade in the city demanding immediate withdrawal of the citizenship bill.
The women, all vendors of Khwairamband market, had put up posters and banners and set up tents, blocking roads, to press for their demand, despite imposition of section 144 of CrPc in the area in the wake of agitations against the contentious bill.
On Sunday, they tried to destroy the tents and pull down the banners that sought the unconditional revocation of the bill, she said.
The women, however, refused to cow down, following which a clash broke out between the two sides.
"The security officers fired tear gas shells and smoke bombs, which left six women injured. The situation turned uglier when they tried to take one of the injured women into custody and the agitators had to thwart the attempt," Shantidevi explained.
The injured women were then taken to Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIIMS), she added.
Criticising the use of "excessive force", Y Dillipkumar, the convenor of Manipur Peoples Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC), said the women were "protesting in a democratic manner".
"The assault on the women vendors indicates that the state government is acting under the command of the Union government," he said.
MANPAC is an umbrella body of civil societies and organisations that had been protesting against the passage of the legislation.
Dillipkumar asserted that protests against the bill will intensify in the days to come.