TODAY -
Gen strike total, many hurt in pitched battles
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 03 2009: Normal life in Manipur remained paralysed due to the 48-hour State-wide general strike called by the Working Committee of the Apunba Lup, which has demanded resignation of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh over the July 23 'fake encounter' at BT Road and punishment of the guilty police commandos and police officers who attempted to cover up the facts.



Bandh supporters in a pitched battle with cops (Top) and womenfolk putting up phaneks


The JAC formed in connection with the killing of Sanjit, family members and members of the locality of the late man, after minute deliberations today, have decided to defer the Shradh of Sanjit, which falls tomorrow, till the demands of the people are fulfilled. Strike supporters came out in large number since early morning and put up road barricades to stop traffic.

Besides burning tyres in the middle of the road, womenfolk were also seen drying phaneks across the road.

Owing to the general strike, all the market places and other business establishments remained closed and the inter-State as well as inter-district transport services were suspended for the day.

Schools, colleges and other educational institutions also remained closed though education is being exempted from the purview of the strike.

Even though the Government offices were opened, attendance was reportedly nil as no vehicles were allowed to ply.

The strike, however, did not affect normal flight service.

Although security forces were deployed in different parts to prevent any untoward incident during the strike, pitched battle between the security personnel and the strike supporters were witnessed at various places, At Khurai area, the strike was total with strike supporters blocking the traffic from four different directions, namely Tinsid Road, Ayangpalli Road leading to JN Hospital, Imphal-Ukhrul Road and Lamlong.

When the agitated and slogan shouting strike supporters, from four directions, tried to march towards Lamlong Bazar, the police commandos on duty fired tear gas canisters and mock bombs to disperse them.

At least three strike supporters namely Khundrakpam Sanaton (25) s/o late Pakpa of Kongpal Chingangbam Leikai, Khaidem Shankar (24) s/o late Tomchou of Kongpal Khaidem Leikai and Nandeibam Rajesh (15) s/o Biren of Khurai Sajor Leikai reportedly sustained injuries in the police action.

Undeterred by the action of the police commandos, the agitated strike supporters responded with slingshots.

They also hurled a volley of diatribes against the police commandos.

Strike supporters coming from the side of Khurai Thoidingjam Leikai, Khurai Sajor Leikai and Soibam Leikai also engaged the police to a pitched battle, throwing stones and slingshots at Lamlong Bazar.

At Khurai Sajor Leikai, the strike supporters deflated a vehicle of BRTF even as Assam Rifles personnel who were going towards Chingarel resorted to blank firing to disperse the strike supporters.

At Sawombung and Lamlai Challou, womenfolk of the area also enforced the bandh along with drying Phaneks across the road to prevent movement of vehicles and public.

Along National Highway 39, strike supporters enforced the bandh stopping vehicular traffic through various means at various points like Yumnam Leikai, Singjamei, Kakwa, Kiyamgei.

At Kiyamgei, some people including women reportedly sustained injuries when the security personnel fired tear gas shells to dispersed them.

Near Yairipok bridge of Thoubal district, the strike supporters scattered nails on the road to stop movement of vehicles.

Yairipok Bazar also remained shut down during the strike today.

The situation was similar in different parts of Thoubal district.

Later during the day, the effigies of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and DGP Y Joykumar were set aflame at different places including Tinsid Road, Sawombung, Mongsangei, etc.

Meanwhile, All Yairipok United Clubs Organisation and Apunba Nupi Khurai Lamjing Meira Lup have announced support to the general strike of the Apunba Lup.

Moreh-based social organisations namely All Community Development Organisation, Moreh (ACODOM); Nupi Khunai Chaokhat Lamjing Lup, Moreh and Minority Women's Development Society have also supported the general strike and demanded punishment of not only the police commandos involved in the fake encounter of July 23 but also the higher officers who attempted to cover up the facts, according to our Moreh correspondent.

These organisations have also demanded resignation of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh over his misleading remarks on the incident on the floor of the Assembly.

In view of the prevailing situation, it has been decided that the 12th Manipur Integrity Day, which is to be organised jointly by these three organisations, for Chandel district at the border town Moreh tomorrow, would be held in a low key function at the office of ACOMDOM.

Our Jiribam correspondent adds: The general strike has also affected normal life in Jiribam subdivision with vehicular traffic staying away from National Highway 53 and other roads.

Market places also remained shut down during the strike.


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