18-hour total shutdown imposed by STDCM ends peacefully
Shops and markets, including Khwairamband Ima Market, Paona Bazar, Thangal Bazar were shut down.
Updated on 28 Dec 2021, 9:38 pm
Police disperse bandh supporters at Khurai Salanthong, Imphal (PHOTO: IFP)
The 18-hour total shutdown from Monday midnight called by the Schedule Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (STDCM), demanding to enlist the Meitei/Meetei community in the schedule tribe list ended peacefully at 6 pm on Tuesday.
During the shutdown, bandh supporters blocked some streets in Khurai and its adjacent areas. Bandh supporters were also seen blocking Imphal-Pangei road; Lamlong bazar; Uripok road; Singjamei road and some other places in the city area in the early morning. Shops and markets, including Khwairamband Ima Market, Paona Bazar, Thangal Bazar were shut down.
Less number of employees were seen in government offices while oil pumps were closed and inter-state passenger services stopped functioning. However, essential services; pharmacies and health-related sectors were functioning as usual.
Police personnel at Khurai Salanthong dispersed some protestors who were blocking the bridge in support of the 18-hour total shutdown by raising a banner that read, ‘Manipur government na Athubada Yelhoumee Meitei/Meetei Scheduled Tribe List ta Chalhannaba Recommendation Pigadabani’ (Manipur government must urgently send recommendation to enlist the indigenous Metei/Meeitei community in the Scheduled Tribe List).
A bandh supporter, Th Ramananda Singh who is the general secretary of Young Progressive Union told reporters on the sidelines of the protest that there is a possibility of the Meitei/Meetei community becoming extinct.
“To protect the community and re-include it in the scheduled tribe list so that the Meitei/Meetei community can be protected, the people are supporting the total shutdown,” he added.
Ramananda who is also a member of STDCM said the entire people of Manipur were included in the scheduled tribe list during British rule; however, after Manipur was merged into India, the scheduled tribe status was withdrawn from the population settling in the valley.
He said the movement launched by STDCM does not hold any intention to bring communal conflicts or harm towards any other communities but its sole aim is to save the Meitei/Meeitei community from becoming extinct.