Manipur celebrates Republic Day peacefully

Imphal, Jan 26 (IANS) The 67th Republic Day was celebrated in all nine districts of Manipur on Tuesday without any major untoward incident despite calls for boycott and general strike.

The call for boycott and dawn-to-dusk shutdown was given by the banned underground militant organisation United Naga Council, among others.

Several hundred trucks, buses and other vehicles were stranded along the national highways in the wake of the shutdown call.

There were some incidents on Monday night of burning down of the decorative gates erected by government departments for the Republic Day celebrations in Tamenglong district.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh was the chief guest at the main function held at Kangla, where over 100 contingents and tableaux participated in the parade and display.

On the occasion, the chief minister sought public cooperation to ensure the overall development of the state.

There were state and central forces, school and college students, cultural and sports contingents and tableaux highlighting the achievements of the government departments.

All shops and commercial establishments remained shut, with the Republic Day being a national holiday.

Police had beefed up security measures throughout the state.

The chief minister decorated six police personnel with medals for meritorious service. One Fire Service Medal was also given.

It was also officially announced that the President’s medal for distinguished service was awarded to a policeman and the Presidential correctional medal for meritorious services was given to two jail staff.

Meanwhile, in the Jiribam sub-division of Imphal East district, the main function was held at the Government higher secondary school.

Despite the call for a boycott and general strike by some tribal organisations, a function was held in the district headquarters of Churachandpur.

At Saprameina, in the Sadar Hills sub-division, tribal groups performed cultural dances at an official function.

In Tamenglong, District Collector M. Luikham hoisted the national flag as 19 contingents participated in the function.

Reports of peaceful celebrations of the Republic Day were received from other parts of the state as well.

Meanwhile, there were some reports saying that some of the participants of the parade in Imphal were hospitalised after being indisposed.

They complained about having not been provided blankets and other warm clothes despite severe cold and given insipid food.

Lucy, one of the girls, told IANS that they were given Rs.200 each per day. Several participants were unhappy with the management, including provision of basic amenities, including washroom.

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