Imphal: A 38-hour shutdown which began early on Friday, paralysed normal life across Manipur. The shutdown has been called by activists pressing for the presidential assent to three anti-migrant bills already passed by the Manipur assembly.
The latest shutdown comes shortly after the 48-hour general strike the hill districts of the state observed in protest against the three bills they have termed as “anti-tribal” legislations.
There will be another 24-hour public curfew from Sunday midnight to protest the failure of police to nab three Muslims who had fired at and injured 14 people at Nungei in Thoubal district last month.
On Friday, roads were deserted, markets and business centres closed down. Government offices, educational institutes and other facilities also remained shut.
The students’ wing of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System on Friday slammed authorities of the Manipur University for holding semester exams despite a notice about the shutdown.
“Since many students could not make it, there should be re-examination. The authorities will be made accountable if the students are victimised,” one of the activist leaders said.
A woman activist said, “There are nocturnal torchlight processions at many places demanding enactment of the bills, and disenfranchisement of the outsiders.”
Politicians led by Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam handed over one copy of the draft memorandum to Chief Minister Okram Ibobi.
The memorandum on the issue will be submitted to the President, prime minister and others during the proposed visit of a delegation of politicians to Delhi.
“The chief minister has already approved it and the cabinet may do so later,” officials said.