| The police and protesters during the general strike in Imphal on Saturday. Picture by UB Photos |
Imphal, July 26: An 18-hour statewide general strike called by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System in Manipur kept people indoors here today.
The committee called the strike from midnight, asking the state Assembly to take a “firm decision” on the issue of implementation of ILP during the ongoing session, which will conclude on Monday.
Shops, business establishments, banks and fuel pumps remained closed. Transport services and private vehicles stayed off the roads. Inter-state and inter-district bus services were also suspended.
The strike came after three days of clashes between the police and students, who were agitating for the ILP demand in the capital and Thoubal district.
As the situation worsened, particularly in Imphal, the Ibobi Singh government shut down all government and private educational institutions in Imphal East and Imphal West districts since yesterday till Monday.
“We call the strike to ask the Assembly to take a firm stand on the ILP issue on the concluding day of the session. We also condemn the police brutality on students,” Ibotombi Khuman, the convener of the joint committee, said.
The Assembly took two resolutions in 2012 and 2013, urging the Centre to introduce ILP in Manipur. The Centre is yet to respond to the resolutions.
The committee feels that the Okram Ibobi Singh government has not pursued the resolutions with the Centre seriously.
“It is very unfortunate that the Assembly session has not taken up the ILP issue. Our movement is to protect and safeguard the indigenous people of the state,” Khuman said.
There was no report of trouble in the strike-affected areas today, official sources said.
However, activists put up roadblocks and burnt tyres along the Thangmeibandh road that leads to the Assembly and other parts of the city today. The police had to disperse the protesters.
“The situation is tense, but under control. There was no untoward incident,” a senior police officer said.