IMPHAL, Jan 14: One white Maruti van faced the brunt of the general strike late this evening during the early hours of the general strike which started at 6:30pm this evening, called by the JAC against the brutal killing of Dr Kunjabihari Singh chairman of the Board of Secondary Education Manipur against the inaction of the O Ibobi government concerning their demands on the issue.
The van was set ablaze presumably by strike supporters near the Kakwa Awang Leikai, Naorem Leikai community hall at around 7 pm barely thirty minutes after the general strike was put into force.
Two fire tenders from Imphal rushed to the scene to control the fire, however the van was already charred before the fire tenders could reach the spot. Police have also reportedly arrested atleast eight individuals at around 7:30 pm including two labourers, three helpers of a chicken centre and a father-son duo for supporting the general strike from nearby the Kakwa Naorem Leikai area.
They are lodged at the Kakwa Police station. Meanwhile, the police have also taken the charred van whose owners are yet to be confirmed, under its custody.
With the passing of the dateline today at 5 pm set for the government to acknowledge their demands, the 24 hour general strike was imposed by the JAC against the brutal killing of Dr Kunjabihari Singh and will be in place till 6:30 pm of January 15 on the Imphal Moreh stretch of the NH 39.
The JAC had submitted an ultimatum to the state government seeking positive response to their demands before 5pm of January 14, further warning of a general strike on the Imphal Moreh stretch of the NH 39 in case of failure of the state government to provide a positive response to their demands. Some of their main demands are to hand over the case to CBI for investigation, arresting the culprit who killed Dr. Kunjabihari etc.
Speaking to media persons, representatives of the JAC further declared to launch various other forms of agitation in case the Ibobi government remains mute spectators without providing positive response to their demands. The JAC has further appealed to all student bodies, NGOs, Meira Paibis and civil bodies of the state to co-operate with the JAC and help in providing justice to the bereaved family.
Meanwhile as a show of solidarity to the demands of the family members and the JAC against the brutal killing of Dr Kunjabihari Singh, students and teachers of various schools located along the Singjamei stretch of the NH 39 staged sit in protest in front of their respective school gates. The school students and teachers have further voiced their support of the JAC and have demanded of the government to booked the culprits at the earliest possible and punished as per the law of the land.
The protesting students and teachers carried various placards saying â€˜Daita yaodaba Chief Minister Pham thadok-Uâ€™, â€˜Education bu hatnuâ€™, Educationda politics tounuâ€™, â€˜Kanana Board chairman hatpano, mihatpa dandi piyuâ€™.
The schools participating in the protest today are namely Universal Student Acadamy of Singjamei Mayengbam Leikai, Eastern Janitor High School of Thongju, Canchi Academy of Kha Naorem, The Imphal Public School, International School of Resource, Little Rose Higher Secondary School of Canchipur, Sika Higher Secondary School and Standard Robert Higher Secondary School of Langthabal Canchipur.
In the meantime, it may be recalled here that the Board chairman Dr. N. Kunjabihari was killed by unknown armed assailants on January 12 at around 3:30 pm in a shocking gun related incident inside his office chamber which is located in the high security zone between the Chief Minister’s bungalow and police headquarters after he had attended a departmental meeting at the BSEM office.