The situation in Manipur improved on Thursday with no report of any untoward incident and relaxation of curfew in the twin districts of Imphal. The seven-hour long night curfew starting from 9 pm, however, will continue to be in force as a precautionary measure, according to an order issued by District Magistrate of the twin districts of Imphal East and Imphal West. Mobile internet services, which were snapped from December 18 last, is also likely to continue till Christmas.
Meanwhile, a mass rally organised by Manipur-based civil body, representing different ethnic groups, was organised today to promote a better relationship among the different communities living in the state. It also appealed to the United Naga Council (UNC) to revoke the ongoing 52-day long economic blockade before Christmas.
Thousands turned up at the rally during which it was unanimously agreed that the blockade has led to an artificial scarcity of essential commodities with the prices of daily items skyrocketing. Gatherings and counter-blockades were also held in different parts of Imphal valley urging for ending the economic blockade. Meanwhile, N Ibobhal, spokesman of of Lok Jan Shakti (Manipur State Unit) strongly protested the Centre and the state government’s “ignorant attitude” regarding the evolving situation due to the economic blockade.
In another development, a drivers’ association at a separate press meeting urged the state government to provide licensed guns to drivers and handypersons for their own self-defense if UNC did not end its blockade before Christmas. On December 18, local people of Khurai area went on a rampage while enforcing counter-blockade along the Imphal-Ukhrul road during which 22 passenger buses were vandalised thereby leading to imposition of curfew in Imphal East district.
The incident was preceded by attacks on Manipur police personnel by suspected militants in the hill districts of Tengnoupal and Noney during which three cops were killed and 14 personnel injured.