Amidst boycott calls, grand reception accorded to Sonia Gandhi

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UPA Chairperson and AIIC President Sonia Gandhi, with head gear (Kajing Lei) at Kangla police meeting Imphal on Friday. Photo by Ph. Santosh, Imphal
UPA Chairperson and AIIC President Sonia Gandhi, with head gear (Kajing Lei) at Kangla police meeting Imphal on Friday. Photo by Ph. Santosh, Imphal
IMPHAL, November 12: Although normal life was paralysed today in the state following the twin general strike imposed by various civil society organization to boycott the visit of AICC chief, Sonia Gandhi, the strike however could not give much impact to the visit of Sonia Gandhi as thousands of supporters and well wishers of the Congress from different unit and blocks turned up to attend a mass public gathering attended by the AICC chief.

Many peoples came out on the street marching towards Kangla bearing banners, welcoming Sonia, and party flags.

The security forces and traffic police were given hard time at Hapta Kangjeibung and some section of the Palace compound. The area remained crowded with vehicles carrying congress supporters from various units and blocks gathered there for parking.

The strike apparently had little impact in an around proper Imphal, suspected strike supporter attacked a passenger vehicle carrying congress supporters using petrol bomb this evening around 3:30 pm at Samusang Uku along the Uripok Kangchup road under Lamphel Police station.

The attacked however did not cause any human casualties.

According to reports the vehicle (a Tata Magic Van) bearing registration No. MN01/W-9263 was carrying about six congress supporters heading towards their respective destination after attending the public gathering held at Kangla attended by AICC chief, Sonia Gandhi.

Two youths plying towards opposite direction coming on a Bajaj pulsar without any warning threw a petrol bomb at the front portion of the vehicles breaking the wind shield of the vehicle moreover engulfing in fire.

However timely intervention of the local nearby able to put of the fire and no major damage was reported.

Besides that some minor strike incident were also reported at Chingmeirong, Kongba, Langthabal, Lilong, Nambol etc.

At the same time wing all daily activities also came to a grinding halt owing to the strike.

All private educational institution, business establishments including the main market Paona Bazar and Thangal bazaar remained closed during the strike. Most of the Passenger services including inter district bus services stay off roads. Except for vehicles carrying congress supporters, who came to attend the public meeting held at Kangla.

It may be recalled that a 15 hour general strike was imposed by 17 major organizations decrying the failure of the Central government to disclose the whereabouts of the chairman of the UNLF, RK Meghen, who was reportedly arrested from Dhaka. The strike commenced from 2 am to 5 pm.

The organizations which have called the strike are All Manipur United Clubs’ Organization (AMUCO), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), United People’s Front (UPF), National Identity Protection Committee (NIPCO), All Manipur Social Reformation and Development Samaj, Universal Mothers’ Organization (UMO), All Manipur Tammi-Chingmi Apunba Nupi Lup, Ereibak Enat Chanura Loina Sillon, Thoubal District United Women’s Development Organization, United People’s Administrative Council, Manipur Peace and Integrity Council, All Manipur Ethno-Socio Cultural Organization, Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibi Apunba Nupi Lup, Chanura Lamjingba Kangleipak, Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA), Ethno Heritage Council (HERICOUN) and Momnu Erikhombi Lup.

Coupled with the 15 hour strike the the Kabui Mothers’ Association (KAMA) of the Zeliangrong community also imposed a 10 hour general strike the same day decrying the failure of the state Government to allot 200 seat at the three newly constructed women market sheds.

Following the advice of the bandh-mongers to venture out at one’s risk, the observance of the general strike was total as far as businesses are concerned. Shops and business establishments downed their shutters and passenger ferry vehicles stayed off the road.

A Tata Magic vehicle carrying Congress supporters was attacked with a petrol bomb at a place called Shamusham Uku in the Uripok-Kangchup road this afternoon. The vehicle burnt partially but no one was hurt.

However, the general public turned up in massive number at the venue in Kangla Fort where Sonia Gandhi addressed the public meeting.

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