NGOs call off indefinite strike in Manipur

IMPHAL, AUG. 21. The indefinite general strike called by the 32 non-government organisations in Manipur from August 16, following the self-immolation of Pebam Chittaranjan on August 15, was called off today to enable the people to pay homage at the ``symbolic cremation'' in Bishnupur district from where the deceased hailed. The authorities had disposed of his unclaimed body on August 18 in a bid to defuse the mounting tension.

However, police set up roadblocks to prevent people from going to Bishnupur district. A. Romenkumar, Inspector-General of Police (Law and Order), in charge of rural and hill areas, told The Hindu that the travel restrictions were imposed to ensure that the ``funeral procession'' did not go out of control. A spokesman for the NGOs said that another form of agitation might be launched from tomorrow.

Office burnt

In other incidents, some persons burnt down last night the Settlement and Land Records office in Imphal. They threatened the employees sleeping on the premises. So far, 34 Government offices have been burnt, along with furniture and documents, since the day Thangjam Manorama was allegedly raped and killed by four personnel of 17 Assam Rifles on July 11.