Manipur Observes Republic Day Amid Shutdowns, Black Flags Displayed

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Manipur marked its 75th Republic Day with a distinctive response as an 18-hour general strike, called by various underground outfits and legal organizations, affected normal life, especially in the valley areas. While Governor Anusuiya Uikey unfurled the National Flag at Kangla Fort, Imphal, the daily routine was significantly disrupted.

Unfurling of the Tricolor Amidst General Strike

Despite Governor Uikey’s participation in the Republic Day celebrations, the valley witnessed disruptions due to a bandh enforced by outlawed groups, including the Coordination Committee (CorCom). This 18-hour total shutdown aimed to boycott India’s Republic Day celebrations.

Impact on Daily Life

The bandh had a considerable impact on normal life, with shops and businesses in Imphal city remaining closed. Private vehicles stayed off the roads, leading to a partial isolation of Manipur from the rest of the country by road. However, air travel continued unaffected.

Black Flags Displayed in Protest

Responding to appeals from six student bodies, many houses in the valley displayed black flags as a mark of protest against Republic Day celebrations. Student groups, including the Manipuri Students’ Federation (MSF) and the Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), urged the public to boycott the event, holding the Indian government responsible for the ongoing conflict in Manipur, which has claimed over 200 lives.

Calls for Boycott and Accusations

Apart from student bodies, the Disabled Development Association Manipur and the Wheelchair Basketball Association, Manipur, also joined the call for a Republic Day boycott. They accused the BJP government of neglecting the violent conflict in Manipur since May 3, 2023, resulting in significant casualties and displacement.

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