Rally against price hike, arrest of students held
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 20 2011:
Denouncing detention of students, who were on a drive to check prices of essential commodities, several student activists and women vendors of Khwairamband Keithel took out an impromptu protest rally in the commercial areas of the capital city today, consequently leading to release of the detained students later in the day.
It is informed that as a part of the drive launched by All Manipur Students' Union (AMSU) against alleged hiking of prices by traders taking advantage of the ongoing economic blockade, about 300 students from various institutions converged at Khwairamband Keithel and entering the shops started to enquire stock position and price of the goods on sale.
While such drive was on at Nagamapal, Masjid Road and Dharmashala pockets of the commercial area, police rounded up some of the students, including about a dozen female, from Dharmashala area at around 1.30 pm today and herded them inside City Police station.
Decrying the police crackdown, student activists mostly comprising of AMSU volunteers and women vendors from the three market complexes raised slogans and marched around the market area demanding release of the detained students as well as against hiking of prices by the traders.
Even though additional State security force personnel arrived at the scene and barricaded the protestors at near Assembly Road in Dharmashala area slogan shouting went unabated.
Consequently some women vendors and AMSU volunteers were allowed to proceed and successfully negotiate release of the detained students.
Speaking to mediapersons, AMSU information and Public Relations secretary Soibam Anil conceded that ongoing imposition of economic blockade in pursuit of demand for Sadar Hills as a full-fledged district and consequent launching of counter blockade against the demand, supply of essential commodities into the State has been severely effected.
While decrying alleged ineffectiveness of the Government to solve the issue at hand, he also described as unjustifiable big traders hiking prices of almost all the goods subsequently adding to suffering of the general public.
Stating that under the objective of checking hike in prices of goods AMSU launched the drive after discovering that several traders continued to sell exorbitantly, Anil further stated that all AMSU intended was to prevail upon the traders not to take undue advantage of the situation arising out of the ongoing economic blockade.
He also expressed that inability of the Government of Manipur to check malpractices by the traders is a testimony of administrative failure of the Government and demanded that goods should be sold at prices that existed prior to imposition of the economic blockade.
On the otherhand, students staged sit-in-demonstration in front of Ibotonsana Girls Higher Secondary School, Uripok against continuous imposition of economic blockade as well as hiking of prices of essential commodities by the traders.