By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Feb 9 : Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured the people of Assam that the Citizenship Amendment Bill will not harm the North East in any way, all shops at Khwairamband Keithel remained close for the day and women vendors of the three Ima Keithels ceased work today from early morning.
Later it was also decided that all shops at the three Ima Keithels will remain shut till February 12 to lodge a strong protest.
To give teeth to the protest the women vendors decided to stay put at Ima Keithel, day and night and put up temporary arrangements at the place, blocking the road.
Police swung into action late in the evening and removed the temporary settings and dispersed the women vendors.
CRPF personnel were later deployed at the place later in the evening.
Some representatives in the meantime met the Chief Minister to discuss the situation arising out of their stand to stage the protest day and night at Khwairamband Keithel.
Earlier in the day, all shops at Khwairamband Keithel, Thangal Keithel, Paona Keithel, BT Road, Temporary Market, MG Avenue, Nagamapal downed shutters for the day and even street vendors packed up business for the day and staged a sit in protest.
Addressing the protesters, MANPAC member Ph Deban said that the CAB once enacted will open the floodgates for large scale influx and the indigenous people of the North East will be outnumbered and swamped by a large number of migrants.
Despite the strong opposition and large scale protest by the people of the North East, the Centre is working overtime to get the Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha on February 12, said Deban and added that this is nothing but selling out the interest of the North East to build a vote bank.
Until and unless CAB is withdrawn, the people of Manipur will continue to oppose the Bill tooth and nail, pledged Deban and added that the suggestions of the Chief Minister to delve into the content of the Bill is nothing but sidestepping the real issue.
Even the assertion of the Chief Minister to demand that a clause be inserted in the Bill to exempt Manipur is not acceptable, he added.
Later in the evening, women vendors of the three Ima Keithels and Temporary Market shed announced that they will continue with their protest by closing all shops till February 12.
Speaking to media persons Laishram ongbi Mema Devi, president of Apunba Keithel Phambi Nupi Lup said that the decision to close all shops till February 12 is to safeguard the future generation of Manipur. All the four keithels and shops and other business establishments located in the nearby area will remain closed till February 12, she added.
The BJP led Government is likely to introduce the said Bill in the Rajya Sabha on February 12 and seek its passage, she said and added that the four keithels will remain closed till February 12 to demonstrate the stand of the people against the Bill.
No one will be allowed to open their shop or other business establishment located in the said area till February 12, she said and warned that those who defy the call will be socially boycotted.
Any course of action taken up by MANPAC will be supported fully, she added.
Slogans such as Long Live Manipur, We Oppose CAB, Down, Down BJP Government were raised during the protest demonstration.
A large number of police personnel of Imphal West, 9 IRB Mahila Battalion and CRPF personnel were seen deployed to prevent any kind of unwanted incident.
Protest demonstrations were also staged at Takyel Khongbal, Khongman, Kongba Porompat, Khongman Zone V, Thongju, Singjamei Keithel, Sangakpham Bazar, Kongba Nandeibam Leikai, Khurai Lamlong, Haotal, Yumnam Khunou, Chingmeirong just behind popular shopping centre Vishal Mart etc.
By Our Staff Reporter