The Manipur government has issued strict instructions to all state offices and educational institutes to remain open on Tuesday, the day of a bandh call by the Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC).
Manipur chief secretary Dr J Suresh Babu has ordered all government employees to attend office without fail. Babu has also instructed deputy commissioners of all districts, and all departmental heads, to take necessary action against staffers who fail to comply with the order.
The commissioner of the education department has been asked to ensure normal functioning of schools.
MANPAC has called for a total shutdown in the state from Monday midnight till 6pm of Tuesday, to protest the Centre’s move to reintroduce the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the Winter Session of the Parliament.
MANPAC is an umbrella of different civil society organisations operating in Manipur. Its co-convener, Ningthoujam Lancha, has appealed to people to support the bandh call despite the state government’s orders.
Lancha said MANPAC was likely to announce the future course of its agitation after a meeting on Tuesday.
Along with this, in response to the call of Northeast Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) to agitate across the NE region, women vendors of Khwairamband market, Imphal, staged a mass sit-in demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Bill Monday.
All shops remained closed in and around the Kwairamband market area in the heart of Imphal city, as hundreds of vendors took part in the protest, displaying placards and banners that read ‘Withdraw CAB Unconditionally’, ‘No CAB In Northeast’, among others.
RK Radhesana, leader of the women’s market, decried the Centre’s move to reintroduce the CAB at a time the state is burning over Naga peace talks. “The CAB can wipe out the indigenous communities of the Northeast, especially Manipur. We the ‘mothers of Manipur’ will fight tooth and nail against any move to divide the state,” said Radhesana.