A tyre burns on the road in Imphal East on Thursday. Telegraph picture
Imphal, April 28: Smoke continued to billow out on the streets of this city throughout the day as protesters burnt tyres and logs demanding the arrest of "culprits" responsible for the death of two youths.
Imphal city wore a deserted look with shops, business establishments, educational institutions, banks and other commercial establishments remaining closed. Transport services between here and other districts was also affected.
Bachaspatimayum Pittaranjan aka Korabin, 24, a resident of Nongmeibung of Imphal East, was found dead in the jungles of Ukhrul district on Monday. He was missing since he left his home on April 19 for Ukhrul to meet his girlfriend, who lives in the district.
Residents of Nongmeibung suspect he was murdered and have been demanding arrest of the "culprits".
The public action committee formed by Nongmeibung residents called a 24-hour statewide strike from 6 this morning to pressure the Okram Ibobi Singh government to apprehend those responsible for Korabin's death.
Strike supporters burnt tyres and other materials along the roads in Imphal East to enforce the bandh and also to express their anger at the failure of police to find clues to the case.
Similarly, another joint action committee of Kakwa in Imphal East blocked the Imphal-Moreh road at Kakwa on the outskirts here protesting against the mysterious death of Sagolsem Prasanta aka Abung, 22.
Abung was found hanging from a tree at Lilong Haoreibi under Lilong police station in Thoubal district on Tuesday. Residents of Kakwa suspect that he was hanged after being murdered by unidentified persons.
The death took place in an area where a different community resides than that of Abung. As a result, his death has fanned tension between the two communities.
Protesters beat up two persons belonging to the community that resides in Lilong at Kakwa last night. The two persons were admitted to an Imphal hospital.
Agriculture minister Abdul Nasir visited the injured last night and appealed to all the citizens to keep calm and let the law take its own course. "The chief minister is taking the case very seriously. The police are also investigating the case. The incident should not disturb communal harmony," he appealed.
The Manipur unit of Popular Front of India also appealed to the communities for calm.
"The government should find out the truth whether the youth committed suicide or he was murdered. The two MLAs representing Lilong and Kakwa should step in to defuse the situation and bring out the truth," a spokesperson for the front said.
Protesters also burnt tyres and other materials along the Imphal-Moreh road, particularly at Kakwa and neighbouring Canchipur.
The police had a tough time removing the burnt materials and clearing the roads. However, there was no report of violence during the strike.