Imphal, Aug. 30: Life was crippled in Manipur today thanks to an 18-hour strike called by a joint action committee formed after the disappearance of contractor Irungbam Irabanta in Ukhrul district.
All markets, schools, banks and post offices remained shut since midnight. Inter-state and inter-district transport services were also suspended and attendance in government offices was low.
The strike was called to protest against the state government’s failure to trace Irabanta.
According to the complaint lodged by Irabanta’s wife, Madhubala Devi, at Lamlai police station, the 38-year-old contractor left from his home at Nongdam in Imphal East on May 27 in a Maruti Gypsy. He said he was on his way to meet some NSCN (I-M) cadres in Ukhrul over some business matter.
Irabanta contacted his family the next day informing them that he was negotiating with two NSCN (I-M) cadres in Ukhrul. After that there was no trace of him.
His family suspects that the NSCN (I-M) is behind his disappearance.
The Okram Ibobi Singh government has constituted a special investigation team, headed by Ukhrul’s superintendent of police K. Kabib, to trace Irabanta. “We are investigating the case. As the investigation is under way, we cannot disclose anything because that could hamper the investigation. We are doing our best,” Kabib said over phone today. The contractor’s vehicle also hasn’t been recovered yet.