Regional

Shutdown in Mnp hills after arrest of 3 ATSUM leaders

Correspondent IMPHAL, Apr 6 | Publish Date: 4/6/2021 12:51:15 PM IST

 A lightning shutdown that was triggered by the arrest of three leaders of an agitating tribal student body partially hit normal life in Manipur’s hill districts on Tuesday.

The “emergency shutdown” in hill districts commenced from Tuesday, 10 am, was jointly announced by agitating All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM), Kuki Students Organisation (KSO) and All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur (ANSAM).

The tribal based student bodies demanded immediate and unconditional release of three leaders of ATSUM arrested by the police last night.

A team of Imphal West district police reportedly picked up the three functionaries of ATSUM - Shimthar Jajo, Khaiminlen Doungel and Kakai Singsit on Monday night, shortly after the apex body of tribal student bodies announced going ahead with its agitations.

A press communiqué of the ATSUM issued late Monday night announced that the apex body will continue ongoing agitations demanding issuance of notification for general elections to the autonomous district councils (ADCs) in hill districts of the state.

The ATSUM denied having reached any agreement with the government in the talk held during the day on Monday even though the government, in a press note, claimed that the meeting with the student body has decided to conduct the ADC elections on or before June 25, 2021.

The tribal student body had also termed the decision of the meeting as “government sided decision” while reiterating its stand to continue the agitation which commenced on Monday.

They commenced the agitation by locking down government offices, banks and post offices in hill districts of the state.

Meanwhile, following the announcement of the emergency shutdown commenced at 10 am, members of KSO and others in Churachandpur district came out on to the streets at the district headquarters and imposed the shutdown by disturbing normal vehicular movement.

Many other tribal based student bodies supported the shutdown call jointly given by ATSUM, KSO and ANSAM.

While extending support to the agitation, Tamenglong Village Students’ Federation (TVSF) claimed that the agitations launched by ATSUM were democratic and it was a dissent agitation.

“It is our rights guaranteed by the constitution of India and arresting the dissenting leaders is not part of the solution but is part of the problems,” TVSF stated.

On the other hand, All College Tribal Students’ Union, Imphal (ACTUI), in a press release, threatened to launch any form of agitation and protest if the three leaders are not released immediately without any condition.

The student body was threatening to launch the agitation in all the government colleges within the Imphal area.

Stating that ACTUI is hoping to release the trio latest by midnight of April 6 (Tuesday), the statement warned that the government will be responsible if any action is taken by ACTUI in all government colleges.

 

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