24 hr bandh paralyses normal life Vehicles, effigies of CM and Cdos burnt, Govt offices torched
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 27: The 24 hour general strike called by the JAC Against Torture And Detention of Naobi paralysed normal life in Manipur today with bandh supporters targeting Government establishments.

During the general strike called to protest the arrest of Maibam Naobi Chanu of Leirongthel by Thoubal police commandos, bandh supporters piled up old tyres and wood and set them on fire at major roads in addition to the burning of an ambassador car allotted to the Director of Settlement.

The car was burnt at around 9.30 am today at Ayangpalli Road, Kongba Laishram Leikai.

The car bearing registration number MN 1G1097 was alloted to the Secretary of State Election Commission and Director of Settlement, N Angou.

It is reported that just as the driver of the car, Pheiroijam Tomba finished washing it at the gate of Angou, the car was torched all of a sudden.

An empty bottle reeking of petrol smell was also discovered from inside the car.

Police suspect that the bottle containing the petrol may have been lighted and thrown inside the car.

Porompat police have retrieved the damaged car.

A sit-in-protest was also held at Leirongthel Bitra, from where M Naobi hails to demand the release of the lady.

Supporting the bandh, the Leirongthel Bitra Youth Club issued a statement contending that Naobi is innocent and urged the Chief Minister to release her immediately and warned that if she is not released then more intense form of agitation will follow.

An effigy of the Chief Minister was also burnt while bandh supporters attacked and damaged a Shaktiman truck Partial damages were caused to Veterinary office at Porompat and IFCD Office, Lamphel with bandh supporters setting them on fire at about 4.30 pm and 5 pm respectively.

Bandh supporters piled up husk bags and set them on fire at Hodam Leirak junction on Tiddim Road.

Such burning was also witnessed at Keishamthong.

Likewise to enforce the general strike road blocks were put up at New Keithelmanbi, Nongbram, Changamdabi, Yambem, Top Golai and Khoinom.

An effigy of police commandos was also set aflame on Tidim Road near the office of The Sangai Express by bandh supporters amidst shouting of slogans like "Don't torture civilians", "Don't treat women as playthings", "Release Naobi immediately", "Punish guilty commando personnel" etc.

In a similar incident, effigy of the Chief Minister O Ibobi was burnt at Yairipok to protest the stoic silence maintained by the SPF Government in the face of rampant human rights violations by State security forces.

Bandh supporters also set a Maruti car ablaze at Kwakeithel bazar today at about 6.30 pm.

Petrol bombs were used.

The owner of the car is identified as one Ch Nishikumar of Sagolband Mabudhou Mantri Leikai.

During the general strike, most vehicles stayed off the roads except two wheelers, Khwairamband market bore a deserted look and all educational institutions remained closed.

In Thoubal district, bandh was total as scarcely a vehicle plied on NH 39.Along the Mayai Lambi, bandh supporters blocked all major roads by piling up boulders, timbers and burning tyres on the roads.

All commercial activities ame to a complete halt.

Many support general strike: Many social organisations and women bodies have extended their support to the 24 hour general strike called by JAC Against Torture And Detention of Naobi.

In a statement made available to the press, Poirei Ita Meira Paibi Lup, Mongshangei informed that besides blockade of roads at several places under its jurisdiction, effigy of Chief Minister O Ibobi was set aflame to protest the alleged torture and detention of Naobi of Lairongthel by commandos.

It further demanded resignation of O Ibobi as he is unable to prevail over his security men.

Alleging that the prolonged detention and torture of Naobi by police commandos is a clear act of State terrorism, the All Manipur Democratic Women Association urged for the immediate release of M Naobi.

It further cautioned that if the State Government continues with its strong headedness, the issue would be raised at the national level and in the parliament of the country.

Former Adhyaksha of Imphal East Zilla Parishad, M Babita expressed shock on the alleged torture and inhuman treatment of Naobi by Thoubal Police commandos as published in media.

A statement issued by the former Ahdyaksha termed the incident as an act of subjugation and defamation of the whole Manipuri womenfolk by security forces.