Agitators impose 24-hour ‘public curfew’ in Manipur

Imphal July 29 (IANS) Protesting the police high-handedness, the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) has imposed a 24-hour public curfew in Manipur from Friday midnight.

Essential services and students have been exempted. Notably, the schools and colleges are already closed for two days following a government order in view of anti-migrant agitations.

B.K. Moirangcha, convener of the JCILPS, said, “After obtaining permission from the authorities, preparations were being made for a meeting to discuss the burning issues, including Khomdram Ratan, a former convener, being declared as absconder. However, a fresh order was issued banning the public meeting.”

Despite the sudden closure of schools, several girl students had turned up and they were locked in a face-off with the policewomen.

Meanwhile, Justice N. Koteswor and Justgice Kh. Nobin of the Manipur High Court on Friday ruled that the plea of Ratan to review the government order declaring him absconder is “maintainable”.

On the other hand, for nearly a week women activists have been intercepting all Manipur-bound passenger buses to off-load migrant workers who come to the state without proper documents. So far, nearly 700 migrant workers have been handed over to authorities.

However, the police have refused to file cases against them, contending that the migrants are all Indians. On Friday, 71 migrant workers were caught without identity papers.

State Home Minister Gaikhangam said, “Many persons are agitating against the migrants in public while privately they are letting out rooms in their homes.”

Hundreds of women are also launching sit-in protests in many parts of the valley districts against migrants.

–IANS

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