Tengnoupal bandh called off following agitators` meeting with State government

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IMPHAL, February 4: Tengnoupal villagers have today decided to lift the indefinite bandh imposed along the Imphal-Moreh highway against alleged atrocities committed by the Assam Rifles posted along the highway.

The IFP was informed of the development through the phone by a spokesperson of the agitators late in the night.

The caller said a public meeting was held at Tengnoupal which continued till late into the night and discussed the assurances given earlier by the State government on the issue and decided to immediately call off the bandh.

Earlier in the day, the State government had met with the agitators on the issue following a Combined Headquarter Meeting with the top brass of the Central security forces.

Addressing media persons in his office at the Old Secretariat building, deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam had said that the meeting with the agitators had ended on a positive note and the agitating bodies are likely to call off their bandh soon.

The government, he said had advised the top brass of the Central forces to act accordingly to diffuse the tension in Tengnoupal at the earliest.

He said the State government had talked with the JAC formed in connection with the alleged atrocities committed by AR on the prevailing situation.

The deputy Chief Minister who also holds the Home portfolio had also said that as a normal procedure, the combined head quarter meeting was held to review and discuss various issues related with the law and order situation in the State.

The government has instructed and advised the top officials of Para-military forces to refrain from giving trouble to the people especially by restricting the movement of vehicles and people at the 24 AR check post in Tengnoupal, he said.

He had also appealed to the JAC to withdraw the bandh in the interest of people because the national highway-2 is under the Central government, and enforcing long bandhs along the international trade route would send a wrong message that could impair the development of the State and the nation.

In the meeting, the state government has advised the officials of Para-military forces to refrain from halting standard vehicles for long hours in the name of checking and giving trouble to passengers and civilians by delaying their vehicles, the deputy CM said.

Gaikhangam had said checking is a must in our State but security checks should be done in a more civil manner and language with a humane face without causing problems to people.

During the meeting, the Para-military officials also shared a similar opinion on the issue and expressed hope that grievances of the people will be mitigated soon, Gaikhangam said.

The State government has instructed the authorities to install only vital check points on this route and to reduce the number of check points.

The government has also urged the Central government to install a vehicle scanner machine at an estimated cost of Rs 40/50 crores under the police modernisation scheme of Manipur.

Gaikhangam said if the machine had been installed on this route, the security checks would not have created such trouble.

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