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Total shutdown called by rebel outfits hit normal life in Manipur

Total shutdown called by rebel outfits hit normal life in Manipur
Shops in Imphal’s Paona Bazar keeping their shutters down during the rebel sponsored anti-merger shutdown in Manipur on Friday.
Correspondent IMPHAL, Oct 15 | Publish Date: 10/15/2021 2:43:15 PM IST

Normal life was affected in Manipur on Friday following separate total shutdowns called by rebel groups to mark a protest against India’s annexation of Manipur.

Shops, business establishments, financial institutions and petrol pumps remained closed in the capital city. Public transport was off the roads, while only a few private vehicles plied on the streets across the city.

Almost all the streets across the capital city and its outskirts wore a deserted look during the day. Government offices functioned with very thin attendance.

However, armed personnel of state police and state security forces were seen detailed at almost all the main roads and sensitive areas of Imphal and its outskirts as a part of security measures during the strike hours. There were however no reports of any law and order problem from any part of the state during the strike hours, police said. 

Similar reports of shutdown were received from other parts of the state, particularly from the valley districts.  It did not largely affect the hill districts. Except for non-reaching inter-district service vehicles, most of the shops, business centres and other establishments were open as usual , reports said.

Rebels resorting to armed struggle to regain Manipur’s lost sovereignty have been observing October 15 each year as “National Back Day’’ for the last around three decades. 

On this day (October 15) in 1949, the then kingdom of Manipur was declared merged to the Indian union after signing the infamous ‘Merger Agreement’ on September 21 of the same year.

Among others, the Coordination Committee (CorCom) of four rebel groups PLA, UNLF, PREPAK and KCP gave a 12-hour total shutdown as a part of observance of its “National Black Day”.

The shutdown commenced today at 6am and ended at 6 pm. 

Other rebel groups like ASUK, UPRFM, newly formed SOREPA, etc. have also given the total shutdown call.

ASUK (Alliance of Socialist Unity Kangleipak) gave a 12-hour total shutdown while observing the day as “Dark Day” which coincided with that of CorCom, while UPRFM gave an 18-hour total shutdown which was commencement from last midnight declaring observance of the day as “National Black Day”.

The newly formed Socialist Revolutionary Party (SOREPA) also  gave a 12-hour general strike (from 5 am to 5 pm) to oppose the forceful merger and annexation of Manipur into India.

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