48-hour general strike over seat reservation in higher education called off
The strike was carried out by the All Manipur Muslim Students’ Organisation and Pangal Students’ Union, Dhanamanjuri University.
The 48-hour general strikecalled by the All Manipur Muslim Students’ Organisation and Pangal Students’ Union of the Dhanamanjuri University demanding four per cent seat reservation for Meitei Pangals (Manipuri Muslims) in higher education was called off late Thursday.
The two student bodies called off the agitation following positve response given by Chief Minister N Biren Singh after no amicable solution was reached between the representatives of the two student bodies and the education minister. Another round of talk in connection with the matter will be held on November 9, the student representatives said.
The strike, which was called on Wednesday midnight affected most of the Muslim-inhabited areas in the state and left three protesters injured as it turned violent Thursday.
The protesters and supporters of the strike blocked most of the roads, including highways. The Imphal-Moreh national highway was blocked at Lilong Bazar while Hatta road was also blocked by protesters. Some parts of Muslim inhabited areas, including Kwakta, Lamlong Bazaar, Sangaiyumpham, Mayang Imphal and Yairipok, Khabeisoi were also affected by the genral strike early morning.
Tension erupted in Hatta area when some of the protesters were detained by police. Following the detention of the protesters, locals of the area came out in large number and demanded release of the detainees and the strike turned violent. To control the situation, police fired tear gas shell and mock bombs to disperse the mob. The detained protesters were, however, freed later.
Meanwhile, three protesters were injured at Lilong Bazar during confrontation with police. As the protesters overpowered the police, several rounds of tear gas shell and mock bomb were shot.
After the protesters were dispersed, the police ensured that the Imphal-Moreh national highway was made clear and protesters were seen remaining inside the streets. Some of the tear gas shell and mock bomb blasted inside the premises of Lilong Bari Jama Masjid.
Speaking to the media, one of the priests strongly condemned the firing of tear gas shell and mock bomb inside the premises of the Masjid. He contended that the firing of expired tear gas shell could result in unwanted incidents and health hazards instead of dispersing the protesters.
General secretary of AMMSO, Yunnus had toldIFP that the general strike will be immediately withdrawn once the demand is fulfilled or an amicable solution is brought with government.