Separatists call shutdown in Manipur

Taking no chancesTight security has been called in Manipur as a precaution against any possible violence.file photo: PTI  

Normal life in Manipur came to a standstill Monday during an 18-hour general strike called by seven separatist outfits.

The Coordination Committee (CorCom), an umbrella group of seven major separatist outfits in Manipur who are fighting for an independent state for the majority Meitei community in the state, had called for an 18-hour general strike starting Oct 14 midnight.

Reason for protest

The outfits are protesting the erstwhile princely state of Manipur’s merger agreement with the Indian Union 63 years ago.

Manipur joined the Union of India in October 1949 after a merger agreement was signed between the government of India and the then maharaja of Manipur on Sep 21, 1949, which came into force Oct 15, 1949.

“No untoward incident has been reported from anywhere in the state till this hour,” Director General of Police Y. Joykumar Singh said.

Almost all government establishments, including financial and educational institutions, remained shut and roads were deserted during the shutdown, which will last till 6 p.m. Monday.

Possible terror strikes

The central government had sounded a security alert in Manipur about possible terror strikes in view of the general strike.

More than 5,000 security personnel, including from Manipur Police, the army, Assam Rifles and other central paramilitary forces, will be working to prevent any untoward incident during the general strike.

There are more than 20 rebel armies active in Manipur, a state bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy. In the last few months, rebels have triggered over 20 blasts killing and injuring many.IANS