Manipur group calls off strike

Imphal, April 16 (IANS) A joint action committee (JAC) formed after the lynching of two Muslim boys on April 7 after they allegedly stole a two-wheeler and which had threatened to impose an indefinite blockade if the people behind the lynching were not booked called off all forms of agitation from Saturday.

The announcement came after an agreement between Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and JAC leaders on Friday night.

Ibobi Singh was accompanied by a few of his ministers, including the Muslim leaders in his cabinet, during the talks.

It was also announced on Saturday that the government would pay Rs.5 lakh each to the family members of the two dead boys.

A committee headed by the collector or the sub-district collector will examine cases of other injured people for extending financial solatium.

Over 60 people sustained injuries, as five shops and two houses were burned down in clashes after the lynching incident. Another Muslim youth was injured along with the other two.

The softening of the JAC’s stand was triggered by the resolutions several Muslim and non-Muslim NGOs took on Friday evening at Lilong, a little distance from Mayang Imphal where the clashes took place.

The meeting resolved not to support any kind of agitation which has communal overtones.

It said all communities in Manipur have been living in peace and harmony and some elements should not be allowed to vitiate the atmosphere.

The Muslim NGOs said no agitation shall be permitted in Muslim-majority areas in Lilong without prior approval from the authorities.

Meanwhile, a group of women who launched a sit-in protest and submitted a memorandum to the chief minister to book the three Muslim youths — for firing at their office in Nungrei in which 14 people were injured — said they were not pressing their demand in view of the changed situation.

However, the district administration is leaving nothing to chance. An indefinite curfew is still in place in Mayang Imphal area.

Prohibitory orders are also in place in Lilong.

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