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Manipur comes to a standstill during 24-hour shutdown

In a last ditch effort to abort the shutdown, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren met the JAC representatives on October 3 evening soon after his return from Delhi

In a last ditch effort to abort the shutdown, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren met the JAC representatives on October 3 evening soon after his return from Delhi

Normal life in Manipur was completely thrown out of gear as a result of the 24-hour shutdown which began from October 3 midnight. This is in protest against the ‘failure’ of the Manipur government to concede to the demands of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) formed to seek justice for Athuan Abonmei, a social worker who was allegedly abducted and then later murdered on September 22. All sections of people extended support to the shutdown and stayed indoors.

In what is said to be the first instance of unity among the people of the valley and the hills, the shutdown was a complete success. The non-tribal organisations in the valley extended support to all campaigns by the JAC pointing out that Abonmei had strived for the unity and co-existence of the people in the hills and valley.

In the past, there was no sign of coordination among the people of the valley and the hills during such agitations. The strikes in the hills had no impact in the valley and vice versa.

In a last ditch effort to abort the shutdown, Chief Minister N. Biren met the JAC representatives on October 3 evening soon after his return from Delhi. He is reported to have told the JAC members that the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police of Tamenglong did not inform him in time with the result that a rescue was not ordered immediately. He reportedly said, “It is a fit case of termination from service of the DC and the SP”.

The meeting ended abruptly with the JAC leaders wanting to know why Mr. Biren had not suspended the two officials though Abonmei was murdered on September 22. The two were merely transferred. The JAC is not happy that the “real murderers” have not been arrested. Police claim to have arrested two suspects. But some women have been staging sit-in protests demanding unconditional release of one of the arrested persons, P. Panmei, saying that he is innocent.

Some opposition Congress leaders felt that it was a case of “failure of the system” since the two officials reportedly “failed” to inform the Chief Minister who also holds charge of the Home portfolio and was present in the district.


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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 2:09:35 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/manipur-comes-to-a-standstill-during-24-hour-shutdown/article36817118.ece