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ATSUM bandh ineffective; sporadic incidents of violence reported

IMPHAL, January 19: The response to the 24 hour general strike called by the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur remained lukewarm with the bandh effective in only two districts of the state. According to reports coming in from various sources, the bandh remained effective in only two of the five hill districts of the state.

According to police sources, vehicular traffic in Ukhrul town and Churachandpur town remained negligible and shops remained closed in the bazars of the two districts where passenger vehicles also remained off the roads.

In the other three hill districts of Tamenglong, Chandel and Senapati; shops, educational institutions and offices remained opened and vehicles were seen plying along the roads. However, three passenger buses were partially damaged by bandh supporters along the National Highway 2 under Sekmai police station.

The incident of violence occurred this afternoon around 1:30pm near the Kanglatombi Mandir.

Sources informed that the passenger buses were coming after picking up passengers from Senapati and Motbung and heading towards Imphal. The partially damaged buses are JK Tourist bearing regd no MN 03 0619 plying along the Imphal Senapati stretch, two 709 canter bus bearing regd nos MN 01 1584 and MN 03 0585, both plying along the Imphal Motbung road.

Driver of JK Tourist bus, Amit of Paspati, Koubru Leikha told IFP that the passenger buses were aware that ATSUM has called a general strike but after observing that several bazaars located along the NH 2, including the Senapati bazar were opened and that several vehicles were also plying on the road, the buses had decided to ply as every other day.

While approaching the Kanglatombi Mandir area, he saw that four youths had already stopped two 709 canter buses and engaged in damaging the buses. He added that since there was no road diversion, he could not just turn back.The four bandh supporters on seeing his vehicle, came running towards it and started pelting stones, he said while recounting his ordeal. He further said that even though he pleaded before the four, they continued to throw stones. However he managed to move away from the area and after reaching the Sekmai police station, he reported the incident.

Soon after getting the information, a team of the Sekmai police led by its OC, Inspector AK Premjit rushed to the incident spot and managed to drive away the bandh supporters.

From Our CCPur Correspondent

LAMKA, January 19: The 24 hour state wide ATSUM general strike had a good response from the public of Churachandpur though several former constituent unions had opposed the bandh on the grounds that the CDSU is a defunt body. Though the bandh was total in Lamka area, the same cannot be said of in the suburbs where tribes opposing the CDSU are in the majority.

The bandh had disrupted normal life, with shops remaining closed and a thin public visibility on the streets.

There was also a report of the Army manhandling a CDSU volunteer identified as Muante, 22 son of Thuamvung of Dorcas Veng, New Lamka.

Muante was allegedly gun butted by the personnel of 46 Assam Rifles based at Lamka only a few meters away from the CCpur police station along the Tiddim road.

Meanwhile, the CDSU had thanked the public for their cooperation, which they said is for the good of the Tribals of Manipur in general.



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