General strike cripples normal life in Manipur’s Imphal Valley

Manipur has been witnessing ethnic violence that broke out in May, sporadically continuing to plague the northeastern State for the last three months, claiming over 160 lives

August 05, 2023 10:12 am | Updated 10:40 am IST - Imphal

People stop an Army vehicle during their protest against the mass burial of Kuki-Zomi people killed in Manipur’s ethnic violence, in Imphal.

People stop an Army vehicle during their protest against the mass burial of Kuki-Zomi people killed in Manipur’s ethnic violence, in Imphal. | Photo Credit: ANI

The 24-hour general strike called by the coordinating committee of 27 Assembly constituencies in Manipur on Saturday paralysed normal life in Imphal Valley, with markets and business establishments remaining shut in almost all localities.

Public transport stayed off the road and only a few private vehicles were seen plying on the streets.

Schools also remained closed due to the strike from midnight.

Also Read | Manipur HC directs status quo be maintained at mass burial site

The hill districts, however, have largely been unaffected by the strike, which the committee called to demand an emergency Assembly session to discuss various issues.

The committee’s convenor L. Binod had earlier said that the strike is not to add to the hardships of the people, but to “pressure the government”.

Meanwhile, the Manipur Cabinet on Friday recommended Governor Anusuiya Uikey to convene a session of the Assembly from August 21.

The previous Assembly session was held in March.

Manipur has been witnessing ethnic violence that broke out in May, sporadically continuing to plague the northeastern State for the last three months, claiming over 160 lives.

The State, which remains curfew bound, has seen a recent flare-up of hostilities between the two warring communities — the Meiteis and Kuki-Zomis, after an announcement of a public mass burial of tribals killed during the ongoing race riots.

Tension between the two communities also heightened after talks between former Kuki militant organisations and the Centre were restarted.

Meiteis account for about 53% of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals — Nagas and Kukis — constitute little over 40% and reside in the hill districts.

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