Sinlung /
16 April 2013

Empty streets greet President in Imphal

Empty streets greet President in Imphal Mukherjee accepted the charge that the Centre had neglected the northeast, saying that the northeast states do not get any benefits since the first-year-plan in 1951.

Imphal, Apr 16 : President Pranab Mukherjee landed in Imphal on Monday on a two-day visit to strife-torn Manipur and was greeted by empty streets due to bandh called by several militant outfits.

The coordinating committee (CorCom) of six rebel groups of the state called a 26-hour general strike to protest Mukherjee's visit from 6am on Monday which paralyzed Imphal. The United Revolutionary Front called for a bandh as well separately against Mukherjee's visit.

The CorCom said that the President's visit is another ploy of New Delhi to continue its domination of the erstwhile independent Manipur.

Mukherjee accepted the charge that the Centre had neglected the northeast, saying that the northeast states do not get any benefits since the first-year-plan in 1951.

A collective effort of all these states is needed, he said, while emphasizing the need to enhance the right to education, information and jobs for a bright future.

The outfits said the President should be held responsible for the murder of innocent Manipuris by the Indian security forces and the 'narcotics warfare' by New Delhi to suppress the youth of Manipur.

Mukherjee landed at the Imphal airport under heavy security and spent the day inaugurating the jubilee plaque of Adimjati Shiksha Ashram in the city. Besides inaugurating the Ashram's girls' hostel and an amity hall, Mukherjee also laid the foundation stone of a tribal working women's hostel and a tribal boys' hostel.

The bandh paralyzed in life in the Imphal valley with all business establishments and institutions were closed. Except for emergency and ceremonial services, a few people came out to greet Mukherjee and Imphal city wore a deserted look.

On Sunday, rebels triggered a powerful IED in Thoubal district, 7 km south of Imphal. Another similar bomb found nearby. The President is scheduled to leave Imphal on Tuesday morning.

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