The Manipur University drama continues as state-wide strike could not budge the government on unconditional release of arrested students and teachers. Although, the CM maintained that they are open to talks and discussions.
The 48 hour state-wide general strike called jointly by six students’ unions ended more-or-less peacefully without any major untoward incidents taking place. However, an auto rickshaw was set on fire by unknown miscreants at Keishampat on the second day of the strike in which two persons were injured.
Normal life remained affected in Imphal and other valley districts of the state including Kakching, Bishnupur and Thoubal as most shops, educational institutions and business establishments remained closed and people preferred to remain indoors despite presence of heavy state security forces at almost all areas.
Normalcy was however unaffected in the hill districts of Tamenglong, Kangpokpi, Senapati, Ukhrul, and Kamjong.
The Communist Party of India (Manipur State unit), its students’ front, women wing, farmers’ front and trade unions also supported the general strike called jointly by AMSU, MSF, KSA, SUK, DESAM, AIMS and MUSU.
The state secretary of CPI Manipur, L. Sotin Kumar while addressing media persons said, despite all the attempts of the State Government to neutralise the strike, it turned out to be a big success as all sections of the society fully supported it. He claimed that the massive support was testimony of growing unpopularity of the coalition Government led by Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
Demanding immediate and unconditional release of all the arrested students and teachers, Sotin Kumar said that the Chief Minister’s appeal for dialogue will have few takers when teachers and students are locked up behind the bars.