Normal life was affected in Manipur today because of an 18-hour general strike called by some major social organisations to protest against kidnapping of a businessman by suspected Naga militants.

Official reports said markets, business houses and entertainment outlets were closed in view of the strike called by the United Committee Manipur (UCM) and All Manipur United Clubs Organisations (AMUCO) from midnight.

Transport services between Manipur and neighbouring States and within the State were cancelled.

Irungbam Irabanta, a small-time businessman, was abducted from his house at Nongren in Imphal East district on May 27 by suspected Naga militants who demanded a ransom for his safe release.

Attendance in government offices was almost nil due to suspension of transport services, reports said adding that security measures were tightened at vulnerable places to prevent any untoward incident.

Reports from the districts also said normal life was affected in hill districts with markets and business establishments remaining closed.