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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 23 April 2024

24-hour general strike by Coordinating Committee paralyses life in Imphal 

Panel wants BJP-led state government to hold the emergency session to discuss pressing matters and adopt a resolution upholding the integrity of the state

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 06.08.23, 06:27 AM
People pray for peace in violence-hit Manipur at Morrison Memorial Church, in Dehradun, on Saturday.

People pray for peace in violence-hit Manipur at Morrison Memorial Church, in Dehradun, on Saturday. PTI Photo

The 24-hour general strike called by the Coordinating Committee of 27 Assembly constituencies in Manipur demanding an emergency Assembly session on the prevailing situation paralysed life in Imphal valley on Saturday.

Though the government on Friday night sent a recommendation to the governor for summoning the Assembly on August 21, the organisers of the strike went ahead with their move because there was “no point” in convening the session in the third week of the month, after the conclusion of the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament.

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The committee wanted the BJP-led state government to hold the emergency session to discuss pressing matters and adopt a resolution upholding the integrity of the state and send it to Parliament while the monsoon session is still on. The session is scheduled to end on August 11.

The general strike saw vehicular traffic remain off the roads and all shops and business establishments and offices keeping their shutters down.

People gathered on the streets and police had to fire tear gas to disperse the crowd. There is palpable tension in Imphal city, a resident said.

There are 60 Assembly constituencies in Manipur of which 40 are in the valley.
The remaining 13 constituencies in the valley also extended support to the demand
for a special session, residents said.

The demand for a special session had been raised from several quarters, including the Congress, since May.

The COCOMI, a conglomerate of leading valley-based organisations, had adopted a resolution after its massive July 29 rally against narco-terrorism to call a special session by August 5 to “adopt some action-oriented resolutions to save Manipur”.

If the session is not summoned by that deadline, strong agitations will follow, the COCOMI had said.

Like other valley-based groups, COCOMI blames cross-border narco-terrorism from Myanmar for the ongoing conflict between Meiteis and Kukis that has claimed at least 165 lives and displaced 60,000 since May 3.

The COCOMI is also “unhappy” with the possibility of the Assembly session being convened on August 21 because most people had demanded it by August 3, including the Coordinating Committee of the 27 Assembly constituencies.

“It is a long gap. Anything can happen in this long gap. We are having a meeting tomorrow on the proposed recommendation to summon the Assembly session,” a COCOMI source said, reacting to Saturday’s general strike.

However, the United Naga Council, the apex body of Naga people in Manipur, has asked the 10 MLAs representing the Naga people to stay away from any session called on protecting the state’s territorial integrity.

Kuki-Zo civil society organisations have also resolved that the 10 MLAs representing the communities will not be participating in the proposed session as their people have “lost faith” in the BJP-led state government. The Kukis have been demanding an administration separate from Manipur.

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