Saturday, August 13, 2022

Total shutdown hits normal life in hill districts of Manipur

Correspondent

Hill-based student body sponsored indefinite total shutdown severely hit normal life and movement of vehicles on the national highways in hill districts of Manipur on Wednesday, the day one of the strike.
All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) called for the indefinite shutdown in hill areas of the state in protest against the arrest of some leaders of the apex body of tribal based student bodies by state police on Tuesday.
Police have arrested five leaders of the ATSUM, including its president and general secretary, from its office in Imphal ahead of the proposed 24-hour shutdown in hill districts pressing that the state government to table the Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill-2021 recommended by HAC (Hill Areas Committee) in the ongoing monsoon session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. The 24-hour shutdown was due to commence from 6 pm today (August 3). However, it has overlapped with the lightning shutdown against the arrest of its leaders which began on Tuesday evening at 6pm.
The ATSUM had announced that the bandh would continue until the arrested leaders were released without any condition and on failure on the part of the state government to release them, the shutdown would continue.
The shutdown severely hit normal life as passenger buses and trucks, carrying essentials, remained stranded on the NH-2 (Imphal-Mao-Dimapur section) and NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar section).
Reports said that police and security forces have escorted inter-state passenger vehicles stranded in Mao bordering Nagaland and other places along the stretch of the NH-2 this evening.
No untoward incident related to the shutdown reported from any part of the hill districts on the day.
On the other hand, NPF MLA Ram Muivah today called for the release of the student leaders who were allegedly under police custody, to bring an amicable solution between the government and ATSUM, while raising the matter in the house of the ongoing monsoon session of the state Assembly.
Muivah said that the state government has introduced ‘The Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2022’ and ‘Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2022’ in the house on Tuesday.
With the introduction of the two bills, about 50 percent of the demands of ATSUM have been fulfilled by the government. The state government should release them while opening the door for dialogue to break the deadlock, he said.

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