Indefinite curfew foils UCM protest
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 12: Even as the United Committee Manipur was gearing up to go ahead with its mass sit-in-protest against the intrusion of NSCN (IM) cadres into the territory of Manipur and the subsequent decision taken by the State Government to release them, the Government acted swiftly and imposed an indefinite curfew from 9 am today in the two districts of Imphal.

The mass sit-in-protest was called by the UCM to demand a clarification on the status of the cease fire between the NSCN (IM) and the Centre.

Chief Minister O Ibobi had made his intention clear yesterday itself when he announced to the media that his Government will not allow any protest that may vitiate the situation and had also appealed to the people to desist from any sort of agitation that may fuel the trouble.

Earlier in the day, security forces had to fire several rounds of tear gas to disperse women folks who had gathered at Shamu Makhong to stage a sit in protest as they refused to disperse even after the curfew was imposed.

Besides the State security forces CRPF personnel were also deployed at all sensitive parts of the city to thwart any attempt of the UCM to stage dharnas.

In Bishnupur and Thoubal Dist, the District Magistrate concerned imposed CrPc 144 in both the districts to foil any attempts of the public to organize sit in protests and dharnas.

Inter district buses which plied in the morning had to cancel service for the day and Imphal city once again wore a deserted look.

Today being a Sunday there were not many people out but still the sudden imposition of the curfew caught many people off guard.

Despite the curfew, sporadic forms of protests were held at many places outside the twin districts of Imphal.

Effigies of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and interlocutor Padmanabhaiah were burnt at Langthabal Mantrikhong Maning Leikai today.

Sit-in-protests were also held at a number of places.

Around 150 meira paibis staged a dharna at Singda while a similar sit-in-protest was held at Langmeidong bazar from 10 am till 4 pm today.

Members of the Kongba Kshetri Leikai Panthoibi Apunba Nupi Lup staged a dharna from 9 am.

However the women folk were dispersed by the police.

Tight security measures were taken up at Kongba bazar.

Sit-in-protests were also held at Chingamakha, near DDK office at Kongpal etc.