GUWAHATI: The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-I) has asked people to skip Republic Day and requested that Assam observe an 18-hour bandh on January 26. They have requested a complete shutdown on Thursday from 12:01 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K) has also made the customary call for a general strike in Nagaland on the specified date. It should be noted that the state will also observe Saraswati Puja on January 26.
The ULFA-I supported boycotting and called for an Assam Bandh on August 15 last Independence Day. In a formal statement, the group criticizing R-day celebrations pleaded with everyone to skip the event. Essential services like relief efforts, medical care, electricity, water supply, fire services, and the press will continue to be provided without interruption, the statement said.
Notably, a coalition of six militant groups known as the powerful and outlawed Coordination Committee (CorCom) called for an 18-hour shutdown of Manipur starting at midnight on January 25 in order to protest the boycott of the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
According to a statement made by the CorCom press committee, the complete shutdown would begin at midnight on January 25 and end at 6 PM on January 26. The CorCom has been battling for the restoration of Manipur's sovereignty and now has six illegal organizations: the KCP, KYKL, PREPAK, PREPAK (Pro), RPF, and UNLF.
However, the announcement said that the stoppage did not apply to ceremonies, water supply, health care, or emergency services.
The statement argued that Manipur's residents should not participate in R Day celebrations because they have no reason to celebrate becoming a full-fledged state of India. It cited historical evidence showing that 'Manipur/Kangleipak' was a sovereign nation that regained independence from the colonial British one day before India but did not join India.