Manipur, August 02: A 24-hour general strike called by three leading civil bodies: United Committee Manipur (UCM), All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) and Coalition of Civil Societies’ Kangleipak (CCSK), hit the normal life in Imphal on Wednesday. The strike was held in protest of the Centre’s alleged bid to break up Manipur’s territory as a result of the Naga framework agreement.
The strike started from the midnight of July 31, and All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation, AMUCO,UCM and CCSK had already staged a sit-in demonstration in connection with the issuesin Imphal on July 28, 2018. Along with these three organizations, many other local parties came up for the general strike.
Sunil Karam, UCM President, said that any effort to implement Article 31(A) beyond Nagaland would be an unambiguous step in creating a greater Nagaland and Manipur will not rest unless and until the center clearly states their opinion on this matter.
The strike was effective in the greater Imphal area and the valley districts as the strike supporters, comprising mostly women, who came out in groups to enforce the “bandh”. Most of the roads leading to Imphal wore a deserted look from dawn-to-dusk as the interstate, inter-district and inter-town transport services were suspended for the day because of the general strike. The Government and private offices, educational institutions, markets and other shops in Thangal Bazaar, Paona Bazaar, Majzid Road, Bir Tikendrajit Road, Nagamapal, Khoyathong, Wahengbam Leikai and Keishampat in Imphal city remained closed for that day.
In order to avoid unwanted incidents during the course of the strike, the State Government deployed necessary armed and unarmed security personnel at many strategic locations in and around the State capital.
However, the protest against the Centre’s alleged attempt to enforce Article 371 A of the Constitution in Manipur, did not affect the normal functioning of the Imphal International Airport. So far, no unwanted incident has been reported during the general strike hours.