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Manipur still seething in rage
G Vinayak in Guwahati | August 14, 2004 20:30 IST
The agitation for the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Manipur is set to intensify in the coming days with organisers of the stir announcing further protests starting Monday even as the government hardened its stand by banning a local news channel on Saturday.
Normal life in Imphal remained crippled for the second consecutive day today with the agitators continuing with their protests despite a partial withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act by the state government on Thursday.
There is a bandh tomorrow too, this being called by various underground groups of the northeast against the Independence Day celebrations.
Apunba Lup, the umbrella body of 32 agitating organizations, today announced its next phase of agitation in order to continue to press for complete withdrawal of the AF(SP) Act.
"While on one hand this Act has led to gross violation of human rights by the security forces, the government is now employing all possible means to suppress the democratic movement of the people," said Jagat Thoudam, a spokesman of the Apunba Lup.
The government on its part has prepared the ground to harden its stance in view of the renewed agitational programme.
The Imphal (West) district magistrate today issued a notification banning telecast of news and news-based programmes on the ISTV, the widely seen local cable television network.
The notification said the authorities feared breach of peace and danger to public tranquility.
The Apunba Lup, which asked government employees not to go to office, also demanded that the Government of India should institute a probe into all the cases of human rights violations by security forces in the state since the imposing of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in the Imphal Valley in October 1980.
"The state government, which has failed to respect the wishes of the people, has lost its moral right to continue in office," Jagat Thoudam added.
More reports from Manipur
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