Tue. May 28th, 2024

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Mobile Internet Snapped In Manipur After Protest Rallies By Tribal Groups

Guwahati:

The Manipur government has suspended mobile internet for the next five days in the state to tackle the worsening law and order situation after tribal groups took out rallies in several districts of the state.

Along with ban on large gatherings, night curfew too has been imposed in several districts of the state.

Close on the heels of trouble in Churachandpur district, today thousands of people turned up at the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by a student body in all the ten hill districts of the state to oppose the demand for inclusion of the Meitei community in the ST category.

The All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM), which called for the march, said it was organised to express dissent to the “persistent demands of the Meitei community for its inclusion in the ST category” gaining momentum.

The Meiteis, who make up 53% of the state’s population, inhabit the Manipur valley and claim that they are facing difficulty in view of “large scale illegal immigration by Myanmarese and Bangladeshis”.

Meiteies are not allowed to settle in the hill areas as per the existing law.

In Naga-dominated Senapati town, the district headquarters with the same name and located about 58 km from the capital town of Imphal, the local bodies forced a total shutdown of markets and suspension of public transport from 10 am to 1 pm to ensure that the maximum number of demonstrators participate in the rally.

Thousands joined the processions, waved placards and raised slogans opposing ST status for the Meitei community, police said.

At trouble torn Churachandpur, the second largest town in the state, people defied prohibitory orders and gathered at the public ground and took a rally till Tuibong peace ground to show their support to ATSUM, the police said.

Prohibitory orders were clamped for an indefinite period in the town last week following the violence to protest against the drive to evict villagers from reserve forest areas.

Additional security forces were rushed to the town from other parts of Manipur to control the situation after the vandalisation of a venue where Chief Minister N Biren Singh was scheduled to address a programme.

Similar rallies were also held at Tengnoupal, Chandel, Kangpokpi, Noney, Ukhrul and were participated even by school students, the police said.

Meanwhile, counter blockades were put up in the valley districts, including at Sugnu in Kakching district, in support of granting ST status to Meiteis.

Protesters shouted slogans demanding ST status for the community and protection of reserved and protected forests.

No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the state till the filing of the report.

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