Sunday, February 25, 2024

Bandh brings Mnp to a grinding halt

At least four women were injured after police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse a group of women in Imphal’s Chingmeirong area during the 24-hour Manipur bandh call given by women vendors of Khwairamband Keithel (women market) on Saturday.
Normal life in the city and most parts of Manipur was brought to a grinding halt on Saturday owing to a 24-hour bandh call to protest against the violence allegedly unleashed by NSCN (I-M) in Manipur.
An intensified form of bandh was witnessed at various parts of the city where women vendors in large number took to the streets and enforced the bandh. They even blocked Army convoys on the stretch of the national highways passing through the city. The Army convoys have no other option but to make u-turn to take diversion routes.
Earlier morning, the bandh took an ugly turn when some bandh supporters engaged in stone pelting after a heated exchange of abusive words with people defying the bandh along the NH-2 near MBC Church at Chingmeirong. Policemen who immediately rushed to the spot resorted to tear gas shelling to neutralize the stone pelting spree.
In the police action, atleast four women were injured. The condition of one of the injured women who was hit by a tear gas shell on her right thigh was stated to be critical. All the injured were rushed to a hospital in Imphal.
Also tension along the Tiddim (Imphal-Churachandpur) road erupted after escort personnel of an MLA fire several rounds. However, the situation subsided after the escort personnel involved in the firing apologized.
In a bid to disperse bandh supporters, the escort personnel reportedly fired several rounds in the air after Congress MLA Phungzathang Tonsing was blocked from crossing the area.
However, instead of dispersing, furious locals chased after the escort personnel who managed to get into the house of the MLA. The personal security officer (PSO) who was in one of the Gypsy vehicles was caught by the crowd. When the locals refused to release the PSO, a police team who arrived at the spot convinced the two security escort personnel to offer apology to the locals. The duo apologized before the police team took them away from the spot.
At Keishampat area of the city, the bandh supporters hang effigies of NSCN (I-M) general secretary Th Muivah, UNC president Gaidon Kamei and his publicity secretary Stephen Lamkang.
They also shouted various slogans decrying the prolonged imposition of economic blockade on the national highways and alleged excessive meted out by NSCN (I-M) cadres in the state.  People, mostly womenfolk came out in large number on the streets at their respective places and imposed the bandh.
Educational institutions, offices, banks, markets, shops, and other business establishments remained closed in almost all the valley districts.

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