Indefinite curfew was on Monday imposed across Manipur valley, roads were blocked and tyres set ablaze as part of the protests against the alleged molestation of a film actress by a Naga militant and the killing of a journalist in police firing, official sources said.
As soon as the 16-hour curfew clamped in Imphal East and Imphal West from 2 pm on Sunday ended on Monday morning, people streamed out on to roads, began blocking them and setting ablaze inflammable material, including tyres, the sources said.
Following this, curfew was clamped from 11 am in Imphal East, Imphal West, as well as Bishenpur and Thoubal districts where the disturbances had spread, the sources said.
Earlier on Sunday, president of Manipur Film Forum Surjakanta Sharma had announced relaxation of the general strike from midnight Sunday till December 26 midnight in view of Christmas.
A section of the MFF, however, disagreed and told the local media on Sunday evening that there was no question of relaxation of the general strike.
The sources said since the curfew was imposed suddenly and the police were going around with public address systems in the valley districts, asking people to remain indoors because of the curfew.
They said that hundreds of people, particularly from hill areas who came to shop for Christmas, were stranded in different parts of the valley districts.
They were likely to be sent back with security escort, they said.
A journalist was killed in police firing on Sunday amidst protests during an indefinite general strike called by the MFF -- demanding the arrest of NSCN-IM militant Livingstone Anal -- who had allegedly molested film actress Momoko and threatened two other artistes on December 18 at Chandel.
Regional political party Naga People's Front said in a statement that the general strike was called on a 'very trivial issue' and caused harassment to the people during Christmas.
The statement asked the state government to control the situation.
Reacting sharply to the NPF's statement, an aged woman supporter of the general strike at Patsoi area in Imphal West district told newsmen, "What would be their reaction if their daughters or sisters were molested?"