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Twin bandh hits life in Manipur

Police personal clearing the Khurai Tinsid road before national BJP leaders visit Khurai on Tuesday. (EP)
Correspondent IMPHAL, AUG 18:
Published on 19 Aug. 2009 12:21 AM IST
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Normal life was severely hit in Manipur on Tuesday as twin bandhs called against the July 23 “fake encounter” and August 12 “ambush” involving the security forces took its effect both in the hills and valley areas of the state. Besides, over 26 vehicles - six interstate passenger buses and 20 loaded trucks were stranded along the NH-39 between Khuzama and Mao gate as the transporters resumed their chakka bandh today after four-day relaxation. The three-day general strike called by the Apunba Lup, protesting against the killing of a youth in a ‘fake encounter’ by the police commandoes, was most effective in Ukhrul and Senapati where people were prevented from even going to their fields while all government offices, educational institutions remained closed for the day. The general strike was a part of the agitations that have been continuing since August 2 following the Tehelka news magazine exposure of July 23 firing incident at Khwairamband Bazar by the police commandos. Even as government authorities relaxed curfew for 12 hours from 5 am till 5 pm today in Imphal west and east districts, all shops, business establishments, educational institutions remained closed owing to the general strike across the state. The same 5 am to 5 pm curfew relaxation has been announced for tomorrow by the district magistrates of the two districts. During the bandh hours, sit-in protests were also staged at many places of the four valley districts. Protestors also burnt down effigies of chief minister, O Ibobi, DGP, Y Joykumar and police commandos involved in the fake encounter. Another 48-hour general strike was imposed jointly by the United Naga Council (UNC), All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) and Naga Women Union Manipur (NWUM) in Naga inhabited areas of Manipur demanding the Centre to respect the “hard earned ceasefire” in the wake of August 12 clash between NSCN (I-M) and Assam Rifles. The organizations also demanded withdrawal of all Assam Rifles/para-military forces from Naga areas and redress human rights violation allegedly perpetrated upon the “innocent” Naga people. The strike which commenced from last midnight severely affected normal life in the Naga inhabited four hills districts - Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong.

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