The Telegraph
Friday , July 31 , 2015

Respite from ILP strike in Manipur

Police personnel stand guard during the strike in Imphal on Wednesday. (PTI)

Imphal, July 30: After two days of strike over inner-line permit (ILP), Manipur today got a respite with people resuming their daily activities amid an air of uncertainty.

The state continued to be tense with the joint committee on ILP, which is spearheading the ILP campaign, announcing last night that it had launched a "civil disobedience movement".

The joint committee said its civil disobedience movement would include putting up of blockades, sit-in protests, mass rallies and other forms of protest.

Sit-in protests continued during the day today.

Life was severely crippled, particularly in the valley districts, for two days because of a general strike called by a public joint action committee (separate from the joint committee on ILP) from 5am on Tuesday.

The general strike was called in support of ILP and also demanding action against police personnel responsible for death of student ILP supporter Sapam Robinhood during police crackdown on demonstrators on July 8. Several people were injured last night in police crackdown on protesters, who were defying night curfew, which was in place from 8pm to 5am.

Schools and colleges, which were shut since July 9, are yet to reopen.

People came out of home to go about their daily life today, busy stocking up on essentials. "The situation remained tense as people are apprehending more protests and roadblocks. We are closely monitoring the situation," a senior government official said. He said two senior police officers had been entrusted with the task of monitoring the situation round the clock and report to the government for timely and preventive actions to deal with public disorder.

The agitation is continuing though a government committee, headed by law minister Th. Devendra Singh, is drafting a bill that can protect the indigenous people following the ILP demand.

Congress MLA and a member of the five-member bill drafting committee R.K. Anand Singh said the bill drafting process was progressing. "We are working on a broad framework of the bill. People should extend cooperation to the government to complete the process at the earliest," Anand Singh said at a function here today.

The joint committee on ILP set August 15 as the deadline for passing the bill. It said the people's movement would not end until a proper bill that can safeguard the indigenous people was passed.

In a related development, the Manipur unit of Indian Medical Association appealed to the protesters not to target doctors and paramedical staff. It said there were reports of attacks on medical personnel while they were returning from hospital duties.

The joint committee on ILP also appealed to supporters to allow free movement of people on essential services, media and religious activities.

Reporters complained that their movements were "hampered" by sections of the ILP supporters.


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