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Bandh called in Manipur hill areas on Thursday
August 11, 2004 19:05 IST
Major students unions have called a 12-hour bandh on Thursday in the hill districts of Manipur to bolster the month-old agitation in the state for immediate withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
In separate statements in Imphal, the All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) and All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM) on Wednesday said the bandh is also to protest against the killings of Th Manorama Devi and Jamkholet Khongsai allegedly by security forces. The bandh would begin from 4am Thursday.
Demanding immediate lifting of the contentious act, ATSUM general secretary Samson Remei and ANSAM president Paul Langhu said the Act, instead of solving the insurgency problem, had turned counter productive.
Civilians too had become vulnerable to the Act despite the 'Dos and Don'ts' issued by the Supreme Court earlier.
The indefinite curfew, clamped on July 15 in view of large-scale protests and violence, was relaxed for 15 hours from 4am in Imphal and Greater Imphal areas of Imphal East and Imphal West districts and parts of Thoubal and Bishenpur districts, official sources said.
Sit-in protests defying prohibitory orders were reported from different parts of Imphal.
Threats from unidentified persons forced Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited to shut down Telephone Bhavan till August 15. BSNL officials refused to comment whether the threat was connected with the ongoing 'close all offices' programme, a part of the civil disobedience movement by the agitators demanding withdrawal of the AFSP Act from the state.Reports from the districts said several state and central government offices did not function on Wednesday in response to the movement, which entered its third day today.
More reports from Manipur
Read about: Ire Against A Ceasefire