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Manipur bandh against officials’ abduction
Correspondent IMPHAL, Nov 24:
Published on 25 Nov. 2009 12:20 AM IST
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At least two women were injured in a stampede on Tuesday when police fired tear gas and used mob ammunitions to disperse people blocking roads at Khurai areas in Imphal east district. Protestors were blocking roads to observe the 24-hour bandh in Khurai area in protest against government’s inaction to secure the safe release of two officials of the state electricity department abducted by United People Party of Kangleipak (UPPK). The two officials, executive engineer Thangjam Tomalchand and section officer Leitanthem Mangi of the electricity department posted in Tamenglong district were kidnapped on November 6 last by the outfit. The outfit while confirming that the two officials were in their captivity informed the family the officials were abducted to interrogate on a scandal involving Rs 15 crore in the department. Since the missing of the two officials, locals of Khurai area have been staging a sit-in demonstration urging the authorities of electricity department to secure the safe release of the two officials by negotiating with the kidnappers. However, failure on the part of the department, residents of the area under the banner of a Joint Action Committee (JAC) formed in connection with the kidnapping imposed a Khurai area bandh effective from Monday midnight. In the early hours, people took to the streets and blocked roads by burning debris also prohibited vehicles from plying on the roads. The road blockade also disturbed the traffic on the stretch of the Imphal-Ukhrul section of NH-39. Shops and other business establishments at Lamlong Bazar, the biggest market in Imphal east district remained shut and wore a deserted look. Meanwhile, the JAC has threatened to intensify their protest against the government’s inaction toward securing safe release of the officials. “We will launch other forms of agitations as part of pressing our demand,” the convener of the JAC told reporters. Meanwhile, in another unrelated incident, suspected militants exploded a bomb at the house of an engineer of the state PWD at Uripok in Imphal west district even as two bombs were deposited at the house of a gram panchayat pradhan in Imphal east district. No casualties were however reported in the blasts. The bomb at the house of the executive engineer at Uripok Polem Leikai exploded yesterday night at about 6 pm.

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