Imphal, Jan 20:
The 48-hour bandh initiated by the Joint Action Committee in response to the heinous killing of Takhellambam Manoranjan has exerted a profound impact on various facets of Manipur during its inaugural day. Demonstrating solidarity with the cause, citizens in numerous regions throughout the state actively participated in the bandh, a poignant expression of dissent against the government’s perceived failure to uphold peace in Manipur for an uninterrupted period exceeding eight months.
The impact of the bandh resonated across Manipur as a multitude of shops, schools, and businesses remained closed in compliance with the shutdown directive. Government offices, too, ceased operations. In specific locales like Lamsang Bazar, Khurai Lamlong, and Waithou, protesters actively engaged in disrupting vehicular movement from the early hours, further amplifying their protest against the prevailing circumstances.
Simultaneously, in the Palace Compound areas, a substantial gathering of women joined forces with members of the Joint Action Committee, formed in response to the tragic demise of Takhellambam Manoranjam. This united front surged towards Hapta Kangjeibung, vehemently demanding the removal of stalls erected for the “Fish Fair.”
Expressing their discontent, Ebeyaima, Secretary of Sana Konung Meira Paibi, emphasized the contradiction between the ongoing call for a bandh in protest against civilian deaths and the purported organization of a fish fair at Hapta Kangjeibung. The discord between these events highlighted the underlying tensions and dissatisfaction with the perceived insensitivity to the prevailing issues.
Ebeyaima articulated the prevailing sentiment, questioning the government’s decision to plan a Fish Fair when the state had abstained from organizing Ningol Chakkouba. She emphasized the simplicity of Emoinu celebrations, asserting that the essential elements involved merely lighting candles and incense sticks, with fish being non-obligatory.
Amidst the collective voice of hundreds of women, a resounding demand echoed: a fervent plea that, considering the current circumstances, there should be no Fish Fair in Manipur. This unified expression underscored the deep-seated concern for the gravity of the ongoing situation and a shared belief in prioritizing solemnity over festivities.