IMPHAL, May 21: Manipur valley areas remained paralysed for the second consecutive day due to the 38 hours bandh called by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) demanding conversion of the three Bills passed in August last year into Acts. The bandh came to an end at 6 pm today. No untoward incident has been reported on the second day today. Main markets in Imphal including the trading hub Khwairamband bazar remain-ed closed and other business centres downed their shutters. Attendance in Govt offices and establishments was very low thus impacting the functioning of Govt offices. Inter-district and inter-State passenger and commercial vehicles stayed off the road while few private vehicles were seen plying sparsely. Policemen were seen deployed at strategic locations in Imphal to ward off any unwarranted incidents. Flight service remained unaffected by the bandh. However, the bandh caused inconveniences to outbound and in-bound flight passengers as their movement was hampered.
At the same time, braving the incessant downpour, supporters strictly enforced the bandh at many locations. Emergency and essential services were exempted from the purview of the bandh though. Pro-ILP agitators of Wangkhei area marched in large number towards the Chief Minister’s bungalow. However, the march was thwarted by police at Palace Gate. The protesters holding umbrellas shouted slogans demanding implementation of ILPS in Manipur.
The police barricaded the route at three places. A team of police personnel tried to persuade bandh enforcers at Keishampat Kei-sham Leikai junction to shift their protest to other locations. However, the bandh enforcers, mostly womenfolk, continued to stage their protest.
Later in the evening, police resorted to firing several rounds of tear gas shells to disperse bandh supporters at some places. The wind shield of a Santro car owned by one Takhellambam Chandrakumar of Sega Road Konjeng Hazari Leikai, Dhobi Machu Leirak was shattered as tear gas canister hit the back side of the car. The vehicle was parked inside the owner’s residential premises. Family members strongly condemned the firing of tear gas shells within their campus. Meantime, pro-ILPS demonstrators staged a sit-in at Mongkhang Lambi Thongkhong. Later, they held a rally till Singjamei. The demonstrators were sent back by the police from near Singjamei Super Market complex. They raised slogans demanding conversion of the three Bills passed by the Assembly last year into Acts and to disenfranchise outsiders in the ensuing IMC polls.
The JCILPS’ 38 hours bandh began from 4 am of Friday. Apunba Nupi Khunai Kanba Lup organised a sit-in at Yairipok. The demonstrators also formed human chain and shouted pro-ILPS slogans. Womenfolk of Bamon Leirak, Chongtham Leirak, Bishnunaha Laimanai, Top and Yairipok keithel held a rally from Yairipok Bamon Leirak to Yairipok bazar amidst the downpour today. They raised slogans like, ‘No ILP, No election,’ ‘No ILP, No Govt,’ ‘Convert the three Bills into Acts,’ ‘No outsiders will be allowed to contest election in Kangleipak,’ ‘Delete outsiders from voter lists,’ etc. They also pledged to continue the agitation unabated until the conversion of the three Bills into Acts.
The bandh was also strictly enforced at Bishnupur, Ningthoukhong, Moirang, Kwakta and Kumbi keithel. No passenger vehicles were seen plying. Besides, Govt offices and institutions in the areas remained shut for the day. Volunteers of Panthoibi Street Vendors Union, Khuman Lampak who imposed JCILPS sponsored bandh at the gate of ISBT complex seized country liquor from a woman who came in an auto rickshaw today. The liquor was disposed off at the site. The bandh was clamped at different localities of Khoyathong and Thangmeiband. Amid incessant rainfall, volunteers of JCILPS, Jiribam branch have successfully undertaken protests at Jiribam sub- division by blocking NH-37 at the western gateway of Manipur throughout the 38-hour bandh imposed by JCILPS. All the business establishments, Government and private offices, school remained closed. As the bandh concluded at 6 pm, goods loaded trucks plying along the highway have started heading towards.
Talking to media persons, JCILPS, Jiribam Branch said that they would continue to extend support in all the agitations of JCILPS. Convenor of JCILPS, Jiribam Branch Y Sanjiv Singh has also conveyed gratitude to the people of Jiribam for their support during the bandh.