India: Manipur state shut down by general strike

Routine life came to a standstill in Manipur following a 16-hour "lightning general strike" called by three students' organisations.

Submitted by Steven. on January 24, 2006

The strike began midnight last night to protest against alleged atrocities on civilians by personnel of 24th Assam Rifles battalion, official reports said.

Markets, shops and business establishments remained closed in response to the general strike while transport services between Manipur and neighbouring states and those within the state were also cancelled, the reports said.

Attendance in government offices was reported to be nil in view of the general strike called by the All Manipur Students Union (AMSU), Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur (DSAM) and Manipur Students Federation (MSF).

The organisations said in a joint statement that the strike has also been called to support the ongoing agitation of over 1,500 women demanding immediate shifting of 24th Assam Rifles personnel from the border town of Moreh for committing atrocities on civilians there.

The reports said most of the important roads in the valley districts wore a deserted look as people preferred to remain indoors in response to the general strike.

Over 1,500 women who launched a sit-in protest at no man's land near Manipur-Myanmar international border to press for shifting of the 24th Assam Rifles personnel from Moreh concluded their stir late last evening, following assurance from the authorities that their demand would be looked into.

Army authorities under whose command the central para-military forces were operating assured people and civil organisations that no excesses would be allowed by security personnel deployed at Moreh area, the reports said.

Strike wave sweeps India