Protests continue in Manipur

IMPHAL, JULY 6. Lawyers and students marched defying prohibitory orders and women continued sit-ins as widespread agitations by various groups against the Centre-NSCN(I-M) ceasefire extension rocked Manipur amid tight security deployment and intensified patrolling.

Official sources said hundreds of lawyers defied prohibitory orders and marched in a procession from the Cheirap court to the Raj Bhavan in Imphal. They later submitted a memorandum to the Governor, Mr. Ved Marwah, opposing extension of the ceasefire to the State.

The protesters gathered at Cheirap here around 10 a.m. and took out the procession displaying placards reading ``we oppose Centre-NSCN (I-M) ceasefire without territorial limits''. Police attempted to disperse them but they soon gathered again and marched to the Raj Bhavan, sources said. Meanwhile, the 12-hour curfew relaxation began from 5 a.m. in Imphal west, Imphal east and Thoubal districts.

Reports from districts said thousands of women in several parts of the Imphal Valley continued sit-in protests defying prohibitory orders. Army and paramilitary forces stepped up vigil at different places while helicopters kept an aerial watch.

A woman was killed and over 100 were injured when police lobbed teargas shells late last night to disperse over one lakh women, who took out the biggest ever torchlight rally across the valley defying curfew.