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Bandh hits normal life in Manipur
 IMPHAL, Aug 9 - Normal life was disrupted in most parts of Manipur today due to the 19-hour general strike called by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) to protest against the death of a schoolgirl under mysterious circumstances. The strike was total in the greater Imphal area where most shops and business establishments remained closed.

 At many places, roads were blocked by the bandh supporters who set up barricades and squatted on the road during the bandh, which began at 5 in the morning.

The bandh, however, did not affect functioning of the Imphal International Airport and had no impact on some district headquarters.

Essential services were exempted from the purview of the strike. No major untoward incident was reported till filing of this report.

The roads in Imphal wore a desolate look due to suspension of inter-state and inter-city transport services. The functioning of most of government and private offices was severely affected, while educational institutions, markets and business establishments remained closed. Examinations in some schools had to be rescheduled.

The decision to call the general strike was taken at a public meeting held on August 7 under the aegis of the JAC to demand justice for the Class VII student, who was found dead in her school hostel on July 18. She was a resident of Thangemeiband area. The JAC has accused the authorities of slowing down the investigation into her unnatural death.

However, Imphal West SP K Meghachandra told reporters that they are investigating all aspects of the case. If anybody has any information or evidence, they should share it with the investigating agency, he added.

The SP said that around 10 persons were picked up in connection with the bandh today. The JAC called a 12-hour bandh in Thangmeiband area of Imphal West district yesterday on the same issue.

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