Normal life today came to a standstill in Manipur due to an 18-hour general strike called by six major insurgent organisations from midnight last night,officials said.
Markets,banks,business establishments and educational institutions were closed and transport services were suspended. Paramilitary personnel and police were deployed in full strength.
Attendance in government offices was almost nil due to cancellation of public transport services.
Coordination committee (CORCOM) of six major insurgent organisations–United National Liberation Front,Revolutionary People’s Front,Kanglei Yawol Kann Lup,People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK),Kangleipak Communist Party and PREPAK-Progressive–had called the general strike in protest against the merger of Manipur with the country in 1949.
Manipur had merged with the country on October 15,1949.
Reports from the districts said the general strike had severely affected normal life in all the districts,including the border town of Moreh in Chandel district from where trade with Myanmar is conducted.
Reports from Ukhrul district said there was a fierce exchange of fire between paramilitary forces and insurgents after the latter exploded a bomb at a road opening party (ROP) of the forces at Nungshangkhong area near the district headquarters last evening.
There was no casualty on the side of the paramilitary forces belonging to 41st Assam Rifles battalion,the reports said.
The insurgents had escaped to nearby thick jungles.
In a statement,the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),armed wing of the Revolutionary People’s Front,claimed responsibility for the attack.
PLA publicity secretary Bankim said they would carry out similar attacks in different parts of the state.