Indefinite curfew clamped, general strike total
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 08: Even as the 18 hour general strike called by the United Committee Manipur was in force to protest the intrusion of armed NSCN (IM) men into the territory of Manipur and their subsequent release by the State Government, the district administration of both Imphal East and West clamped an indefinite curfew in the twin districts of Imphal today at 1 pm to pre-empt any outbreak of undesirable developments.

The general strike called by the UCM came into force from midnight of yesterday and ended at 6 pm today.

In response to the call of the UCM all shops downed shutters and commercial activities in the capital districts came to a grinding halt.

All inter-district buses stayed off the roads.

Save for security personnel and the odd two wheelers and four wheelers pasted with stickers stating their purpose of venturing outside and some pedestrians, all the major roads in Imphal wore a deserted look.

In certain parts of the capital city, bandh supporters came out and put up barricades on the middle of the road.

At some places old tyres were piled up on the middle of the road and lit to dissuade others from venturing out.

Bandh supporters also deflated the tyres of vehicles at some as number of places.

All educational establishments, including schools and colleges remained closed for the day and attendance at most of the Government offices was skeletal.

The general strike call evoked good response at Jiribam with all the shops downing shutters.

No vehicles plied on the road, said reports reaching here today.

Moreh sub-division in Chandel district also reacted positively to the general strike call with all the commercial centers remaining closed for the day.

All commercial activities were grounded.

The general strike was also total at Thoubal and Bishnupur districts.

Shops downed shutters and vehicles stayed off the road.

Regular bus services between Lamka and Imphal snapped today due to the lightning general strike called by the UCM, disrupting work in many offices and inconveniencing regular commuters and students alike, reports our correspondent.

However it was a normal day for all business enterprises, schools and the public, as they carried on their business as usual.

Sources said that business could not be transacted at the SBI CCpur Branch as the Manager and Accountant who commute from Imphal could not come today.

Some Central Government pensioners who had come from outlying villages to collect their pension money and other regular customers said that incidents like this is becoming too frequent in the bank and wondered why the Manager and important staff like the Accountant could not stay at their quarters in Churachandpur.

They also rued the quality of customer care which they said is on the decline in the bank.

To prevent outbreak of trouble the State Government imposed an indefinite curfew in the two districts of Imphal from 1 pm today.

Issuing the curfew order, District Magistrate of Imphal West H Imocha Singh said that information have been received from the police of the likelihood of serious breach of peace, disturbance to public tranquility and grave danger to human lives and properties in the Greater Areas of Imphal West district.

The District Magistrate of Imphal East has also issued a similar order.

The prohibition will however not apply to Government agencies involved in the enforcement of law and order.

Persons who want to take out procession for marriage, funeral etc, have been directed to get due permission from the DMs concerned.

As the curfew deadline approached, police personnel went around announcing the imposition of the prohibitory orders and asked the people to hurry home and not to venture out.

Till late into the evening, policemen went around the capital city to ensure that the curfew is strictly adhered to.

During the 18 hour general strike security was beefed up all over Imphal.