GUWAHATI: An indefinite curfew was imposed in Imphal on Tuesday and mobile internet services suspended till February 16 across Manipur in view of the continued protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, officials said. The state capital straddles Imphal East and Imphal West districts.
While roads were deserted in both the districts, police personnel were seen informing people through louspeakers about imposition of the curfew and asking them to stay indoors. Security forces have also set up barricades on major roads. Markets, schools, colleges and offices were closed.
According to reports, security has been tightened at the residences of MLAs, ministers and Chief Minister N Biren Singh. The CM had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Monday and apprised him of the situation in the state.
Imphal has remained on the boil for the past few weeks in the wake of protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (CAB) which the Centre wants to pass in Parliament to grant Indian citizenship to immigrants belonging to six persecuted non-Muslim communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who migrated to India till December 31, 2014.
The controversial Bill, which was earlier passed in the Lok Sabha, is likely to be tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Assam is the epicenter of the anti-CAB protests which are also being staged in neighbouring Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh besides Manipur.
On Sunday, several organisations had jointly called a two-day strike in Imphal demanding the Bill’s withdrawal. At least eight people, including six women vendors, were injured when the police used force to disperse irate protestors on that day.