An indefinite bandh has been imposed in Kuki-Zo majority Churachandpur district of Manipur from Monday in protest against the arrest of seven persons from the district by the CBI and one by the NIA since Saturday.
According to the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), a conglomerate of recognised Kuki-Zo tribes in Churachandpur, the arrests were an attempt by the Centre to “save the chief minister from the Meitei community’s wrath by coming down hard on hapless tribal people, including women”.
The ITLF had announced the emergency shutdown on Sunday evening in protest against the arrests following a joint meeting of civil society organisations in Churachandpur.
The first day of the bandh on Monday was total and peaceful with shops, markets, commercial establishments, schools and offices remaining closed and the streets wearing a deserted look, a Churachandpur resident told The Telegraph.
The Manipur government on Monday extended the closure of all government, government-aided and private schools, colleges and technical institutions till October 5 because of the prevailing law and order situation.
The state government had on Sunday extended the ban on mobile internet services till October 6 evening to check the spread of disinformation.
On Monday, the ITLF demanded that “the NIA and CBI return our tribal brothers and sisters within 48 hours. Otherwise, the shutdown imposed in hill areas will be followed by more intense agitations”.
The trigger for the indefinite bandh was Sunday’s arrest of four Kuki persons by the CBI for their alleged involvement in the murder of the two Meitei students.