Stray violence marks strike call
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 04: Piling of debris, smouldering tyres and road blocks restricting traffic flow, snatching and burning of question papers and damage of some vehicles marked the 18 hours general strike called by several civil organisations to protest alleged atrocities committed against Maibam Naobi Chanu by police commandos.

The general strike came into effect from midnight of March 3 and ended at 6 this evening.

Govt offices were thinly attended but flight service were normal.

according to reports suspected general strike supporters swooped at the HSSLC examination centre in MM Higher Secondary School located at Wangkhei and after snatching the question papers set them on fire.

Despite the agitators burning the Education and Management question papers the examination reportedly resume after a delay of about 25 minutes.

Moments after the incident took place Imphal East SP along with additional security force personnel arrived at the exam centre to review security arrangement.

Secretary of Council of Higher Secondary Education is informed to have personally arrived at the scene with new set of question papers to facilitate resumption of the day's exam.

The office of the SDO, Sawombung has also been set aflame by suspected general strike supporters at around 4.40 pm today.

The office had been substantially damaged in the fire.

By the time personnel of Fire Services arrived at the scene at around 6.15 pm, the fire had engulfed almost the entire building.

Furnitures and files kept inside the office rooms have been reduced to ashes.

The office of the Registrar Co-operative Society located at Lamphel has also been torched by some unidentified persons at around 7.45 pm today.

Timely arrival of the Fire Services personnel prevented the fire from causing any major damages.

According to reports, the general strike had its full impact at Yairipok area.

Responding to the strike call many womenfolks came out to enforce the strike at Yairipok bridge where they put up Phaneks to stop the passers-by.

Volunteers of Young Pioneers' Club and Bright Youth Club, Angtha also blocked the road during the general strike.

Sporadic incident of traffic disruption also took place particularly in Tiddim Road and Indo-Burma road near Yumnam Leikai area where wind shields of some two and three wheelers were damaged by strike supporter.

Security personnel had a busy day clearing road blockades particularly at Porompat Ayangpalli Road where strike supporters piled logs and rocks to disrupt traffic flow.

Women activists burnt effigies of the Chief Minister, police commandos and Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thoubal at Keishampat area at around 4.45 pm.

The impact of the strike call affected normal activities in most of the valley districts while the hills suffered in the form of absence of inter-district passenger bus services.