IMPHAL, May 20: The 38 hours bandh called by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) which began from 4 am today crippled normal life across the State capital and adjoining areas. The bandh was called against the alleged indifferent attitude of the State Govt to the three Bills which were passed by the Manipur State Assembly on August 31 last year.
However, the ongoing semester exams of colleges under Manipur University went on peacefully. All forms of business activities in Imphal were greatly affected by the bandh. All inter-district passenger services stayed off the roads though few private vehicles related with emergency services and religious activities were seen plying.
Business establishments, shops, oil pumps and cinema halls in and around Imphal city pulled down shutters. Khwairamband Bazar, the heart of the capital wore a deserted look with few passers-by. Schools and colleges, offices also remained closed.
At least two students including a girl were injured as police fired tear gas shells to disperse JCILPS Student Wing volunteers and womenfolk who staged a pro-ILPS demonstration at Keishampat junction this afternoon.
Braving heavy rain, the students and womenfolk marched from Kwakeithel side to Keishampat raising pro-ILPS slogans.
They raised slogans like ‘We want ILPS’, ‘Long live Manipur and ‘Convert the three Bills into Acts’. The rallyists were initially blocked at Keishampat Thiyam Leikai area by the police.
However, they requested the police to allow them to reach Keishampat junction.
After reaching Keishampat junction, instead of returning towards Kwakeithel, they tried to break the police barricade to move towards Raj Bhavan. As the police prevented the rallyists from marching further, they sat in the middle of the road and staged a demonstration.
Later, police threw mock bombs at the students and womenfolk after taking permission from the Duty Magistrate present at the spot.
Within a few minutes, they also fired teargas shells to disperse the agitators.
After running for a few metres from Keishampat junction towards Kwakeithel side, the students pelted stones at the police.In the police-students standoff, two students including a girl were injured. They were immediately taken to RIMS hospital for treatment. The police chased the agitators up to Thouda Bhabok Leikai. Earlier, people placed boulders, bamboos and other hard objects on the road to block Tiddim road at different localities. Police teams patrolled the road regularly and cleared these objects.
To prevent any untoward incidents, a large number of police personnel were seen deployed in and around Imphal area. Supporters of the bandh blocked roads at many places by placing tree branches, logs and burning tyres.
People from all walks of life showed their support by blocking all roads at Imphal. All major roads leading towards Imphal city were cut off. Large number of people staged sit-in-protest at different places pressuring the Government to implement ILP and to save the indigenous populace of Manipur. Supporting the 38 hours total shut down, Panthoibi Meira Paibi Lup, Sinam Leikai Meira Paibi Lup, Lairen Hanjaba Leikai Meira Paibi Lup, Maning Leikai Meira Paibi Lup of Thangmeiband staged a sit in protest at Thangmeiband demanding implementation of Inner Line Permit System in the State. A large number of agitators took to the street blocking vehicular movements at many places. Protesters also enforced the bandh at Lamlong bridge. Large number of agitators came out to enforce the bandh on RIMS Road, Konung Leikai, Thangapat Mapan, Khumbong bazar, Uripok fly-over, Khurai Lamlong Keithel, Khurai Tellipati Road. Meanwhile, president of AMWJU W Shamjai denounced the reported ill treatment of media persons by bandh supporters at Khurai Sajor Leikai where abusive languages were used against the scribes who were discharging their duties. A team of journalists drawn from different media houses led by AMWJU president was on their way to Sajiwa Central Jail for news coverage.
Speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club after the visit, Shamjai said “Neither, are we against the agitation, nor the bandh.” But the way the bandh supporters responded to media persons was very unfortunate. Further he urged the people of Manipur to extend their cooperation to media persons while discharging their duties. The bandh was also strictly enforced at Nambol bazar and Nambol Phoijing. The bandh was also was fully enforced at Jiribam sub-division by JCILPS Jiribam branch and its supporters, our correspondent reports.
Vehicles, both public and private, remained off the road and offices, schools, shops and markets remained closed during the bandh. No untoward incident has been reported
The Imphal-Moreh highway at Thoubal Kiyam area was blocked by bandh enforcers halting vehicular movements along the highway. Markets, shops and other establishments at places like Thoubal Haokha, Kiyam, Wangjing, Khangabok and Yairipok etc remained closed owing to the bandh.
Bandh supporters in and around Kakching blocked roads at different places by placing tree branches, woods and burning tyres on the road. Students of Pole Star School, Wabagai and Grace Reach Academy, Hiyanglam also staged a sit-in at Hiyanglam Lai Pangalba market.
Volunteers of JCILPS Student Wing, Imphal East and Women Social Welfare Association, Wangkhei Angom Leikai burnt down the effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Okram Ibobi at Wangkhei Angom Leikai Andro parking amidst slogans today. The volunteers shouted slogans like ‘convert the three Bills into Acts’ and ‘no non-local is allowed to contest election’. They prevented opening of shops at Mahabali, Konung Mamang, Checkon Tribal market, Pureiromba Keithel, Andro parking and adjoining areas from early morning.
Nobody except emergency services staff, media persons and persons related to religious activities were allowed to pass this area.
On the otherhand, people also blocked roads at Thangmeiband Watham Leirak, DM College gate and Khoyathong areas etc. At Bishnupur, other than the district headquarters and Government offices, educational institutions, shops, markets and other establishments remained closed during the bandh. Bandh enforcers at various parts of district blocked roads by placing branches of trees at different places, our correspondent reports.