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Curfew continues in Manipur, no reports of fresh violence

Imphal: Even as the ruling Congress-led government made fresh appeals to people in the state to restore peace and normalcy, the curfew continued in Manipur’s riot-hit Churachandpur district on Thursday.

manipur-violence_650x400_81441032929Internet services remained suspended in order to check the spread of rumors aimed at causing trouble, along with the curfew in the district to contain the law and order situation.

“There was no relaxation of curfew in the district. Till now, there is no fresh report of violence,” Churachandpur District Magistrate Lunminthang Haokip said.

However, security forces were maintaining a strict vigil to thwart further violence in the district, he said. Educational institutions, government establishments and shops in the district remained shut.

Manipur deputy chief minister in-charge home H.Gaikhangam appealed to the people to maintain calm and not to spread rumours that may affect peaceful co-existence. He also denied of  live bullets being fired on protesters during the two-month long stir in the state.

On the other hand, Churachandpur-based civil society groups under the banner of the joint action committee has decided not to claim dead bodies of seven people, who died during the mob clash that erupted on Monday evening.

“We will not claim the dead bodies until and unless there is an honourable solution to the issue,” JAC chief convenor Mangchinkhup said.

Seven people have been killed and more than 30 injured after violence erupted on Monday evening following the Manipur government’s adoption of three landmark bills — Protection of Manipur People Bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (seventh amendment) Bill 2015, and Manipur Shops and Establishment (second amendment) Bill 2015.

Tribal civil society groups — All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM), Kuki Students Organisation (KSO) and All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM) — opposed the introduction of the bills, saying they overlapped with article 371C of the constitution and some points in the Manipur Hill People Administration Regulation Act, 1947, meant to safeguard the interest of tribesmen in the hill areas of Manipur.

“The amendment of the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act has snatched away the rights of the ethnic communities. We (tribal people) are not happy with the government, and especially with our elected legislators who remained tightlipped when the bill was passed,” KSO spokesman Minlan Gangte said.

Meanwhile, the United Naga Council has imposed a 48-hour total shutdown with effect from September 3 midnight in Manipur’s hill in protest against the passage of three bills by the state assembly.

“The bills passed are purely anti-tribal and a direct attack and threat to the tribal community in the State,” the UNC said.

The Council said the shutdown will strictly restrict any vehicular movement in all the NHs in the hill districts. However, business establishment, offices and educational institutes will be exempted from the purview of the bandh, it said.

With inputs from IANS

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