The normalcy of traffic along the two National Highways of Manipur — the only lifeline of the state — was severely affected Friday as a result of the state-wide 24-hour general strike imposed by the Kuki Student’s Organisation (KSO).
The general strike which came into effect from Thursday midnight was imposed by the KSO demanding the unconditional release of its 10 executives who are under judicial custody in connection with the arson of Catholic-run St. Joseph School in Sugnu in Chandel district.
Hundreds of Imphal-bound vehicles from Assam and Dimapur are stranded at the inter-state borders, something which has disrupted the normalcy of life in the state- particularly the Hill districts of Manipur which are affected during the general strike as inter-state passenger services stayed off the road.
The general strike also affected the Indo-Myanmar border trade at Moreh border town in Tengnoupal district. However, there is no report of any untoward incident till the filing of this report.
On April 25 last the St. Joseph School in Sugnu was set on fire by unknown miscreants destroying school properties worth over Rs. 35 lakh. Initially, police arrested three of the KSO Gunpi block executive.
Later, seven executives of KSO Gunpi Block surrendered to the Superintendent of Police, Kakching district on May 16 even as police was on a manhunt for the suspect in the arson attack. The 10 student leaders are currently under judicial custody.
The KSO contended that the authorities are unnecessarily harassing the KSO executives by extending their detention although no evidence has been found against the executive in connection with the arson.
The KSO also warned to launch further agitation if the detained executives are not released at the earliest.