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Normalcy returns to Imphal, anti-CAB protests suspended

Former Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh (C) and others during a protest by Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi on Wednesday. – PTI
 IMPHAL, Feb 13 - Normalcy returned to Manipur particularly in the State capital here today following the suspension of the mass agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) by civil society organisations and subsequent lifting of the curfew.

Manipur People Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (MANPAC), a platform of 72 civil society organisations, announced the suspension of the mass public agitation in the State after the Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die without tabling of the contentious CAB in the day’s session.

However, the MANPAC said they will resume the protest democratically against the CAB and will not remain silent until the Government of India discloses the motive behind their effort for introduction of the Bill which put the whole Northeastern region in turmoil.

Meanwhile, the district administrations of Imphal West and Imphal East districts lifted the curfew from their respective district jurisdictions at 1.30 pm and 1 pm respectively.

At the same time the Home department also revoked the ‘temporary suspension’ of all the mobile internet/data service in Manipur from 2 pm today in view of the improvement of the law and order situation in the State. The service was blocked in the State since February 11 night.

However, streets in Imphal city continued to remain deserted for more than an hour after the curfew was lifted as the people were not aware of it initially with their mobile internet services restored later.

Manipur had been witnessing continuous public movement against the CAB after the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8. People staged sit-in demonstrations against the CAB during the day, while torch rallies were taken out in the evening.

State Congress leaders led by former Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh have been camping in New Delhi to stage protests against the CAB, besides lobbying the national leaders of the party and other like-minded parties to oppose the Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

Newmai News adds: Earlier in the forenoon, defying the curfew clamped in the twin Imphal districts, people were in the road in the localities and staged “on road mass protest” responding to the call of the Manipur People Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (MANPAC).

At some places, police had a hard time controlling the restive people. The police used tear gas shells and mock bombs to disperse the protesting people.

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