Imphal, May 19 (IANS) Accusing the Manipur government of indulging in delaying tactics, the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) on Thursday announced a 38-hour shutdown from 4 a.m. on Friday till 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Khomdram Ratan, convener of the JCILPS said, “We appeal to all sections of people to abstain from work during the shutdown. However, those in essential services are exempt and activists should not harass them in any manner.”
The delegates of all Manipur political parties were scheduled to go to New Delhi on May 16 to urge the president, the prime minister and others to give assent to the three anti-migrant bills which were passed in the state assembly on August 31, 2015.
However, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh who was to lead the delegation postponed the meeting saying, “We have sought appointments with the president and the prime minister. The moment the appointments are given the delegates shall rush.”
However, Ratan said, “There is a hidden agenda behind the cancellation of the meeting.”
It is being speculated that the politicians are having second thoughts since the JCILPS said that the politicians will face the wrath of the people if they returned empty-handed after a perfunctory meeting.
Ratan added, “There was a system similar to the Inner Line Permit before merger of Manipur to India on October 15, 1949.”
He claimed that there are over 10 lakh outsiders in the state which has a population of less than 28 lakh.
The shutdown will see road blockades, sit-in protests and slogan shouting, while government offices, educational institutes, shops and business establishments would remain closed.
Meanwhile, the indefinite blockade of the Imphal-Kangchup road is still on.
The protesters are demanding that the police sub-inspector, who fractured the hand and bruised the body of a woman Tourangbam Tarini on May 6, be booked under relevant charges.