Imphal: An 18-hour shutdown over the demand for scheduled tribe status for the Meitei community ended peacefully.
The shutdown imposed by the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee, Manipur (STDCM) commenced from midnight of Monday and ended at 6 pm yesterday. The shutdown received mixed responses as a large number of vehicles were seen plying on the roads even though most of the commercial vehicles including passenger service stayed off the roads. However, most of the shops and other business establishments across the major markets in the valley districts remained closed for the day. Shops and other business establishments in Paona Bazar, Thangal Bazar and Khwairamband Keithel (iconic all women-run markets) in Imphal remained closed during the bandh period. However, government offices functioned normally as usual with normal staff attendances.
Meanwhile, at various places, bandh supporters came out on the roads and disrupted vehicular movements. Police and other security forces were also seen deployed at various points to check any untoward incident. No untoward incident related to the shutdown was reported from anywhere, the police said. The shutdown, however, did not give much impact in the hill districts except non-arrival of the inter-district service commercial vehicles, reports said.
The STDCM imposed the shutdown pressing the state government to furnish the ethnographic report on the socio-economic status of Meitei community to the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs for the consideration of the inclusion of the community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list of the Indian Constitution. The ministry is seeking the report from the state government and despite repeated requests, the state government is yet to furnish the same, the STDCM alleged.