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Curfew lifted, people suspend protest

Movement against the citizenship bill successful as bill was not tabled in Rajya Sabha

By Ngangbam Indrakanta Singh in Imphal

  • Published 14.02.19, 3:22 PM
  • Updated 14.02.19, 3:22 PM
Former Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and others during a protest under the banner of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Former Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and others during a protest under the banner of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI)

Curfew was lifted and people suspended their protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in Manipur on Wednesday after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die without tabling the bill.

The curfew, imposed in Imphal East and Imphal West districts on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday apprehending breach of law and order over the bill, was lifted by the district magistrates in the afternoon.

Sit-ins were staged across the state, including at the Khwairamband Ima market here, till the Manipur People Against Citizenship Bill, a core committee of 72 organisations, suspended on-road mass protest against the bill.

“As the bill was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha, we declare the people’s movement against the bill successful. We immediately suspend the on-road mass agitation but will continue to oppose the

anti-Northeast people bill by taking up non-violent movements at the national and international level,” the core committee’s convener, Dilipkumar Yumnamcha, told reporters here.

He, however, sought a clarification from the Centre on “why a racist bill was passed in the Lok Sabha and why the government attempted to pass it in the Rajya Sabha.”

He appealed to student organisations and the people to stand united with the core committee against “such steps of the Indian government against the people of Manipur and the Northeast”.

He urged the state government to put pressure on the Centre to immediately give assent to the Manipur People Bill, 2018, which seeks to regulate entry and exit of non-Manipuris into the state, demanded implementation of the state cabinet’s decision to constitute Manipur Population Commission and update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state, as in Assam.

The six women vendors who were injured in confrontation with police on Sunday evening at the Ima market are still at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) here.

“Doctor says one of my ribs is broken. I have a severe back pain too and can’t get up. They fired tear gas shells and mock bombs under the shamiana which was pulled down simultaneously and suffocated us. I still protest against the bill,” Th. Premila told The Telegraph.

Gurumayum Lembisana, another woman protester admitted to the hospital, said, “We were protesting peacefully but the security personnel were hostile. They pushed us hard. One of them dropped a smoke bomb on my feet. When I tried to run, I fell down and injured my back. I can’t move now.”

Another 24 protesters, including eight women, who were injured in police action on Tuesday, are hospitalised at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences and RIMS, a volunteer of the helpline opened by the core committee at RIMS said.

Police and protesters had clashed on the streets here and in other parts of the state on Tuesday night. A majority of the injured were from Imphal West.

Dilipkumar sought hospital expense compensation for the injured and immediate and unconditional release of protesters in police custody.

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