33-hour Bandh over missing teenagers cripples normal life in Imphal-

A 33-hour bandh in Manipur, which was called by a Joint Action Committee in connection with the case of two missing students, brought normal life to a standstill in the state capital Imphal on Friday, November 10. However, the bandh, which started at 4 am yesterday (November 10), and will go on until 3 pm today, Saturday, November 11, has not witnessed any untoward incident. 

The bandh was supported by 10 opposition parties, namely the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM), Indian National Congress (INC), Janta Dal (United), National Congress Party (NCP), Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray), and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), who urged the state to trace the two missing students at the earliest. 

In the bandh, shops and commercial establishments, educational institutes, oil pumps, banks and other financial institutions remained closed. Supporters of the bandh went out to different parts of Imphal and vented their ire by burning tyres, a report in The New Indian Express states.

The two missing students, 16-year-old Avinash Maibam and 19-year-old Anthony Ningthoujam hailed from Lamshang in Imphal. The duo has been missing since the morning of last Sunday, November 5 after they departed for Sekmai in the Imphal East District on a two-wheeler to attend an event.

The boys were abducted by unidentified people, locals suspect. Police also recovered their cellphones, wrapped in a polythene bag near an oil pump in the Senapati district – which strengthened this suspicion. Senapati lies beyond the Kuki-majority district of Kangpokpi.

The incident triggered fresh tensions in the already conflict-torn state. The students of some schools in Meitei-majority Imphal valley have already staged a protest demanding swift action by the police to rescue the duo.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh, amid sporadic incidents of violence, reviewed the security situation with top officers of the police and some paramilitary forces on Friday, November 10.

“Chaired a security meeting with the top police officials, Assam Rifles and other security officials at my secretariat office today. The meeting emphasized the need for a comprehensive strategy to tackle the evolving security situation in Manipur,” Singh wrote on X (formerly Twitter). He made a fresh appeal to people on Thursday, November 9, to lend their support and cooperation to the government in its attempts to restore peace in the state.

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