By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Oct 15 : The total shutdown and general strike called by different insurgent groups severely normal life in the State today.
Notably, several militant outfits have been observing October 15, the day Manipur was merged into the Indian Union, as National Black Day by calling general strike or total shutdown all over the State.
The total shutdown had a crippling effect in the valley districts. Markets, shops, banks and private establishments of Imphal and surrounding areas remained shut throughout the day.
The three Ima Keithels of Khwairamband which have been closed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic wore an even more deserted look today on account of the general strike.
All kinds of shops located at Thangal Keithel, Paona Keithel, Uripok, Khoyathong, Nagamapal, Thangmeiband and Keishampat had their shutters pulled down.
All the markets of Kwakeithel, Singjamei, Kongba and Lamlong were also deserted. The total shutdown had similar crippling effects in Thoubal, Kakching and Bishnupur districts.
Except for some private vehicles, no heavy traffic could be seen on any road at Imphal. There was no cross-border movement of goods trucks.
Although many Government offices including the Secretariat were opened, attendance was very sparse.
However, the total shutdown/general strike did not have any impact on flight service.
Police personnel could be seen deployed in greater strength at different sensitive areas of Imphal. However, there was no report of any untoward incident during the total shutdown.
Contending that the Manipur Merger Agreement which came into effect from October 15, 1949 has no legal validity, many insurgent groups have been observing October 15 as the National Black Day. Since some decades, the insurgent groups have been imposing total shutdown or general strike all over the State on October 15 every year.
While the CorCom called total shutdown from 6 am to 6 pm, the Alliance for Socialist Unity, Kangleipak (ASUK) called a general strike from 6 am to 6 pm.
The United People’s Revolutionary Front of Manipur too called a State-wide general strike from 1 am to 6 pm today.