Other States

Shutdown against Bill hits life in Manipur

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh  

Six women vendors, one policewoman hurt in clashes

Normal life was thrown out of gear in Manipur on Monday as a result of protests by various groups against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which is pending in the Rajya Sabha.

Six women vendors and one policewoman were injured during a clash between the two sides at a city market on Sunday. Hundreds of women vendors were staging protests against the Bill in the four markets within Imphal city. They blocked roads, affecting vehicular movement, and forced traders to close their shops.

‘Excessive force’

Police and paramilitary personnel tried to remove them but the women refused to budge. Soon a clash erupted between the two sides and the security personnel had to fire tear-gas canisters and mock bombs to disperse the protesters. The injured women were taken to Regional Institute of Medical Sciences for treatment.

Criticising the use of “excessive force” on the protesters, Y. Dillipkumar, convener of Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill, said the women were “agitating in a democratic manner”.

“The assault on the women vendors indicates that the State government is acting under the command of the Union government,” he claimed, adding that the agitation will intensify in the days to come.

The women protesters returned to the main market to resume their protest on Sunday night. M. Babyratna, a woman vendor-activist, said their shutdown will continue till 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Some women vendors alleged that those who turned up on Monday morning to sell fish and vegetables were intercepted and their items were thrown away on the roads.

Several civil organisations in Jiribam district bordering Assam called a 38-hour general strike from Monday morning.

Shaved-head protest

Several persons shaved off their heads as a mark of protest. Students who are members of six organisations protesting against the Bill marched with black flags in Imphal. Officials said there was “very thin attendance in offices”. Educational institutes, shops, commercial centres and banks were shut down.

Autorickshaw drivers in Bishnupur district also took out a procession to condemn the Bill. Ibohal Sharma, president of the association of autorickshaw drivers, said some of them are prepared to immolate themselves if the Bill is passed in the Upper House. Former Minister Okram Joy said that the Bill should specifically mention that it will not apply in the North-eastern States.

Officials said security measures have been tightened in all valley districts where people have been agitating.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 6:09:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/shutdown-against-bill-hits-life-in-manipur/article26242355.ece

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