Police resorted to firing tear gas shells and mock bombs to disperse agitators blocking roads in some areas in the valley districts of Manipur on the first day of a 48-hour general strike.
The 48-hour bandh imposed by the All Manipur Muslim Students Organisation (AMMSO) and Pangal Students’ Union-Dhanamanjuri University (PSU-DU) commenced from last midnight (from the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday).
The student bodies are pressing the state government to address their demands which include, among others, reservation of 4% seats for the minority community in non-professional courses in higher education.
From early morning, bandh supporters came out on the streets at various areas across the valley districts and imposed the bandh by blocking traffic.
To block the traffic by burning tyres and wood on the roads or put up barricades to prevent movement of all kinds of vehicles.
Essential services like medical, water supply, electricity, media etc. are relaxed from the purview of the strike.
At some places like Hatta, Khabeisoi in Imphal and Lilong in Thoubal district, the bandh supporters disrupted vehicular movements despite repeated dispersion made by the police.
At some places, they clashed with the police compelling the police to resort to firing of tear gas shells and mock bombs in their bid to control the agitators.
Reports said that the police detained some of the bandh supporters at Hatta in Imphal where a large number of agitators came out on the streets and disrupted vehicular movements. To control the mob-like situation in the Hatta area, police fired several rounds of tear gas shells and mock bombs.
As the situation remained tense even after police used force to disperse the mob, the police released the detained bandh supporters.