| Students and civilians welcome the participants of the car rally in Jiribam on Tuesday. (PTI) |
Imphal, Feb. 26: Supporters of the Kuki State Demand Committee tried to block the Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar car rally at Jiribam but the convoy entered Manipur without any disruption, with a large number of security personnel deployed in the area.
The rally, which was flagged off in Calcutta by Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, reached Silchar yesterday and entered Jiribam, 222km from Imphal, this morning.
Hundreds of Kuki supporters came out to the Imphal-Jiribam road early this morning in an attempt to block the car rally.
However, police, IRB personnel and CRPF personnel prevented the blockade while the rally, comprising 20 cars and 80 participants, were passing the area.
The police also snatched away all the placards and festoons from the protesters.
A similar attempt was made at Kaimai, a Kuki-dominated area along the Imphal-Jiribam road, without any success.
IRB personnel fired blanks at Kangvai in Churachandpur district to disperse a group of protesters, who were blocking traffic.
The Kuki State Demand Committee resumed its blockade along all state and national highways from February 24 midnight, demanding initiation of talks between the demand committee and Kuki militant groups having a suspension of operations agreement with the government on the issue of a Kuki state.
The demand committee had also announced that it would not allow the car rally — that aims at strengthening bonds among the South Asian countries — to pass through Kuki inhabited areas.
Blockade supporters are also likely to make another attempt to stop the rally when it will pass along the Imphal-Moreh road tomorrow.
The rally will arrive in Imphal this evening and a cultural programme will be organised at 1st Manipur Rifles parade ground for the benefit of the participants.
The rally will leave Imphal tomorrow morning to enter Myanmar through Moreh, 109km from Imphal tomorrow.
The rally will end at Kunming in Yunan province of south China on March 5, after covering a distance of 3,000km.
George Guite, the publicity secretary of the demand committee, condemned the police action in Churachandpur district and Jiribam, saying they were holding a peaceful protest against the Centre’s failure to begin the talks as promised earlier.