Imphal: A 24-hour total shutdown called by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM) was imposed across the hill districts in the state from midnight on Friday.
The bandh was called in view of the demand for elections to Autonomous District Council (ADCs) as the state government failed to issue notification for polls to the six existing ADCs. The ADCs include Churachandpur, Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Sadar Hills, Senapati and Chandel.
Along with agitation, the body also announced ban on all the ongoing national and state development projects in the hill districts.
On Thursday evening, ATSUM representatives met Chief Minister N Biren Singh at his residence. However, the talks failed to draw a concrete decision.
Hundreds of vehicles, including goods carriers coming from neighbouring Nagaland and Assam were seen stranded at NH-2, near Mao Gate in Senapati district.
Normal life was also affected at border town Moreh.
Hill district headquarters Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal were completely deserted, with shops and commercial activities shut. People remained indoors in response to the bandh.
The bandh called by ATSUM has been supported by many hill-based organisations and students’ bodies, including Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) and Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO).
No unwanted incident or violence has been reported from the state so far.
It is important to note here that the office term of the members of the six ADCs covering all hill districts was extended by six months after their actual tenure ended in June last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extended terms also expired on November 30, 2020. Since then, the offices of the members of the ADCs have been lying vacant in the absence of the state government notifying fresh elections.
The ATSUM has been pressuring the government for timely installation of the ADCs for over six months now.