TODAY -
Gen strike ends on a note of mass protests
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 19 2009: Wide-spread demonstrations, blocking of roads and setting aflame of effigies at various localities marked the concluding day of the 36 hours general strike called by Apunba Lup against the Khwairamband market incident of July 23 .

Normal life was severely affected due to the general strike in the valley districts of the State.

At Sanjit's locality, Khurai Sajor Leikai, sit-in-protest was staged from morning to dusk.

The agitators set aflame the effigies of Chief Minister O Ibobi and MLA O Landhoni in the afternoon.



Women from different communities staging a dharna


The womenfolk then marched towards Khurai Lamlong Keithel shouting slogans against Chief Minister O Ibobi and Manipur police commandos.

However, the agitators retreated after they were blocked by security forces.

Although, police took up security measures to foil the demonstrations, the Chief Minister's effigy was also set aflame at Mongsangei by women volunteers of Naoriya Kendra Women Welfare Association during a sit-in-protest staged at their locality.

However, agitators' attempt to burn effigies at Kwakeithel Laishram Leikai was foiled by a team of police commandos.

The womenfolk of the locality were not even allowed to stage sit-inprotest.

NH-39 was blocked by general strike supporters by using timbers and burning tyres and logs in different areas.

At Khonghampat area, large number of general strike supporters came on to street from the early morning and blocked the highway.

Police fired several rounds of tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the agitaters.

The demonstrators retaliated the police action with catapult projectiles in which the wind shield glass of 407 mini truck of Sekmai police was broken.

To control the situation, police conducted raids in various houses and picked up two agitaters identified as Pechimayum Ishingjaoba (17) s/o Ibotombi and Thoudam Ajay (17) s/o Kehso.

A 15-year old girl Thangjam Naobi alias Chanchan was badly injured on her ankle as she was hit by a splinter of tear gas shell at Chingmeirong Lei Ingkhol.

According to family members, she has been admitted at RIMS hospital and needs a major operation of her ankle as the tear gas splinter is now lodged inside her ankle bone.

Bandh supporters also blocked roads at Lamsang Langathel, Akham Ngariyambam Leikai, Lamsang Ngariyambam Leikai, Kwak Siphai, Lamboi Khongnangkhong, Iroisemba, Sawombung Sairenkhun, Challou, Nongada and Malom.

Effigies of Chief Minister Ibobi, DGP Y Joykumar were set aflame at these areas.

Apart from staging of sit-in-protests, effigies of Chief Minister, DGP and MLAs were burnt at Takhellambam Leikai, Kwakeithel, Deulahland Kabaw Leikai, Liwa Road Ahongsangbam Leikai, Thangmeiband Chingakham Leikai, Kakwa Lamdaibung, Chingamakhong waiting shed, Kongba Laishram Leikai, Khurai Lairikyengbam Leikai, Irom Meijrao, Uripok Tourangbam Leikai, Wankhei Thangapat Mapal, Ningomthong and Wangkhei Thambalkhong, Thangmeiband Lourung Purel Leikai, Thangmeiband Hijam Leikai, Thambalkhong, Kongpal, Tera Loukrakpam Leikai, Kongpal Khaidem Leikai, Kwakeithel Haorokchambi.

Placards that read 'Punish guilty commandos', 'CM Ibobi must resign on moral ground', and 'Release functionaries of Apunba Lup' were put up during the demonstrations.

Security forces today foiled an attempt made by strike supporters to burn the effigy of Chief Minister at Torbung-Bangla, about 10 kms from here, reports our Lamka correspondent.

A group of IRB personnel engaged in monitoring the activities of a handful of the Apunba Lup's 36 hours general strike supporters resorted to baton charging the protesters after the later made an attempt to burn Chief Minister O Ibobi's effigy at around 1 pm.

At least two of the protesters suffered minor injuries when they were charged by the security personnel, said a source.

The protesters have since early today felled road-side trees and block the highway in more than one point.

House damaged :Meanwhile, tin roof of the house of one Yumlembam Lukhoi (70) of Khurai Sajor Leikai was damaged as the police commandos fired upon the house this afternoon.

According to locals, the police commandos fired 4-5 rounds of gunshots to scare away some youths who were burning tyres and logs at the locality.

The police team also took a woman by her neck and pushed violently asking who were the agitaters.

Expressing dissatisfaction on the attitude of the police commandos, the woman told reporters that she went out only to call her son who was playing at nearby Lai Khurembi ground.

Members of the Apunba Lup also set aflame the effigies of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and his wife and MLA Landhoni at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai at the end of the general strike today.

Along Singamei road, strike supporters put up road block with burning of tyres.

At Khagempalli, womenfolk of the area came out on the road to enforce the bandh and shouted slogan demanding resignation of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh.


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