IMPHAL,Dec 2 – In the face of a 36-hour general strike called by militants to boycott the visit of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi to Manipur, the two Central leaders are scheduled to arrive here to inaugurate official buildings including the Assembly and High Court tomorrow.
According to official sources, soon after their arrival at the Tulihal airport here at 11.40 am, the two leaders along with State Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh will visit the City Convention Centre, Manipur Film Development Corporation Centre, Assembly complex, High Court building and Inter-State Bus Terminus for their inauguration. They will address a public meeting at the historic Kangla fort for about an hour prior to their scheduled departure at 3.50 pm.
The State officials are busy in hectic preparation for the two national leaders’ visit, while the State police in association with other paramilitary forces are busy making necessary security arrangements to avoid unwanted incidents during the daylong visit of the PM and UPA chairperson to the State.
A high security alert was sounded here after Wednesday’s bomb blast that left one dead and two injured. Subsequently, a 36-hour general strike has been called by the coordinating committee of seven Manipur-based militant organisations to boycott the PM’s visit.
L Kailun, Senior Superintendent of Police, Imphal West district, speaking to this reporter, said that security has been beefed up and several frisking and checking points have been set up. He added that additional BSF and CRPF troops besides district police commandos have been deployed.
It may be mentioned here that the coordinating committee of the seven armed groups – Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak), People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak-Pro (Prepak Pro), Revolutionary People’s Front(RPF), United National Liberation Front and United People’s Party of Kangeipak (UPPK), in a statement to the media, said it would boycott the visit by imposing a 36-hour general strike from 4 am on December 3.
Manipur’s major civil society organisations – All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation and United Committee Manipur also announced boycott of the visit, alleging that the Central leaders would be visiting only to shed crocodile’s tears over the plight of the people with an eye on the forthcoming Assembly elections.