Normal life affected in Imphal Valley as Meira Paibi, local clubs call for 48-hr bandh
Supplementary examinations of all subjects of class 10 board exams of the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur, scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday, were cancelled in view of the bandh.
IMPHAL: Normal life was affected in Imphal Valley's five districts on Tuesday as Meira Paibi, a collective of Meitei women, and five local clubs called for a 48-hour bandh from midnight demanding the release of five youths who were arrested for carrying firearms and sporting camouflage uniforms, officials said.
The 48-hour bandh, which was called from Monday midnight, threw normal life out of gear. State capital Imphal wore a deserted look as vehicles remained off the streets while shops and other commercial establishments remained closed.
The Board of Secondary Education, Manipur cancelled the Class 10 supplementary exams, scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday. The exams will be rescheduled.
The members of Meira Paibi were seen on the streets in different parts of the valley, enforcing the bandh by blocking roads and chanting slogans demanding the release of the five youth who are now in police custody.
On Monday, Meira Paibis blocked several important roads at Khurai and Kongba in Imphal East district, Kakwa in Imphal West district, Nambol in Bishnupur district and parts of Thoubal district demanding the release of the youths.
Yumnam Hitler, president of the All Langthabal Kendra United Clubs Coordinating Committee, said, "The five arrested youths are civilians and village volunteers who have been guarding their respective villages from attacks by Kuki Zo militants as security forces have failed to do their job properly. We want them to be released unconditionally."
"The agitation will intensify if the government fails to release them," Yumnam added.
The police had arrested them on September 16. At the time of arrest, they were carrying sophisticated weapons and wearing camouflage uniforms, a statement by the police said.
When news about their arrest spread, a large number of people had come out to stage a protest. Later, they allegedly attempted to storm the Porompat police station.
In a statement, police said the five had been produced before the judicial magistrate and remanded to police custody.
On Saturday, protesters had tried to storm the Porompat police station demanding the release of the five youths prompting security forces to fire several rounds of teargas shells. Few protesters and RAF personnel received minor injuries during the stand-off.
(With PTI inputs)