Updated: January 31, 2019 9:28:36 pm
The 24-hour general strike called by the Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MPACAB), demanding the withdrawal of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), brought life to a standstill in the state.
The strike began from Wednesday midnight, was enforced effectively by the public across the state.
For the first time, civil society organisations (CSO), both from the hill and valley districts of Manipur supported the strike against CAB under the banner of MPACAB, a conglomerate of 64 CSOs.
In response to the call of MPACAB, strike supporters came out on the streets and enforced road blockade since early Thursday morning.
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Amidst heavy security measures, protestors burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh at several places in Imphal valley, besides organising mass sit-demonstrations, protest rallies during the strike period.
All business establishments, educational institutions, banks etc remained closed during the period. Public transport services including inter-district and inter-state stayed off roads.
Supporting the 24-hr general strike, nine political parties also organised a protest rally in Imphal. The nine political parties included Communist Party of India, Manipur (CPI); Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI(M); Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP); Forward Bloc; Nationalist Congress Party (NCP); Aam Aadmi Party (AAP); Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRAJA); Janata Dal (Secular), (JDS) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
L. Sotinkumar, secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI) Manipur and also the spokespersons of the joint political parties, said they strongly opposed the bill and that the protest against the Bill will continue till it is withdrawn.
Condemning the passing of the CAB, in Lok Sabha, students of Manipur University also staged a sit-in protest at the University gate during the strike period.
Chongtham Birjit, representative of Manipur University Student’s Union, terming the Bill as a threat to indigenous people of the North Eastern states, opined that the Union is ready to take up various form of agitation if the government passes the bill forcibly.
The MANPAC also convened one-day public convention on Friday citing the earnest need to take the mandate of the indigenous people of Manipur to face the deliberate attempt of the government at all cost.
Stating that the situation has become alarming, it appealed to its constituent groups and public to take part in the public convention to be organised in Imphal.
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