Extending support to the 48-hour shutdown called against the arrest of five village volunteers by the state security forces, a large number of womenfolk of Kyamgei area staged protest demonstration and blocked the Imphal-Moreh road at Kyamgei Pal Ahanbi on Wednesday.
The protestors also raised numerous slogans demanding authorities to release the five arrested and implement NRC in Manipur.
Speaking to media on the sidelines of the agitation staged jointly by members of the Peace and Integrity Committee Kyamgei (PICK) and the Kyamgei Nupi Chaokhat Thourang Lup, PICK convenor Ch Meghachandra condemned the state’s action only in the valley.
"The volunteers had been making up for state authorities' failure to protect the state; they are the ones protecting the territorial integrity and the people from militant attacks," he said.
As such, he condemned the arrest of such volunteers and demanded authorities to release them.
"The laws should be equal for everyone and should be maintained everywhere but at the moment the laws are existent only for people in the valley not for those in the hills," he said.
He claimed that the duties of village volunteers were not against the constitution as they were the ones combating the onslaught of narco-terrorism in the periphery.
He questioned why the authorities were lethargic in taking action against representatives who had flagrantly violated the constitution.
"Certain representatives took oath under the constitution to protect the state and its people but they openly violated all the constitutional norms. What were authorities doing during those violations?" he asked.
The people will eventually turn against the authorities if they continue such tactics, he cautioned.
On the other hand, Meghachandra appealed to all agitators and protestors not to mindlessly harass and assault media persons, medical staff and other essential services in further protests and demonstrations.
Meanwhile, vice president of Kyamgei Nupi Chaokhat Thourang Lup M Sobita also condemned the arrest of the five volunteers and demanded authorities to release them unconditionally.
She warned that the people of Manipur would resort to series of intense agitations if the authorities continue to flagrantly flex their muscles and mete out such unfounded actions in the future.