Deserted look of a Manipur road Credit: EastMojo image

Imphal: Life came to a standstill in Manipur on Friday in the wake of a 24-hour state-wide shutdown called by the Joint Action Committee (JAC), formed against the mysterious death of Babysana Chanu at her school hostel last month.

The JAC, which was set up in protest against the alleged inaction by the state government over the death of Babysana, called for a 12-hour bandh on Thursday which paralysed the normal life of the public in the state.

Business establishments were closed during the bandh

Following a total shutdown in the state, day-to-day activities were badly affected, including government departments and educational institutions. Vehicular movements on roads were completely blocked by the protesters, except vehicles for emergency duties.

Imphal was the most affected as streets of the state capital wore a deserted look as shops and local businesses were remained closed. Moreover, transport services for inter-state and inter-city were remained suspended; however, no untoward incidents were reported by the time of filling this story.

Otherwise busy, this market area in Manipur  was closed due to the bandh

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During the protest, 10 of the JAC members, including convener Th Chitaranjan had surrendered before the police in protest against the arrests of its co-convener, Leishangthem Pratap, and executive member of Thangmeiband United Club, Elangbam Joykumar.

The duo was arrested on Thursday evening against an attempt to organise a Meira rally in Thangmeiband demanding justice for Babysana, according to reports.

Some of the members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) who surrendered during the bandh

A 13-year-old Ningthoujam Babysana Chanu of Thangmeiband Meisnam Leikai was found dead in a mysterious manner inside her hostel room at Standard Robarth Higher Secondary School at Canchipur in Imphal West on July 18. Family members suspect it to be be a case of murder not suicide.

Following a series of agitations put up by protesters along with the support of Meira Paibis, student bodies and CSOs, the state had earlier announced to handover the Babysana’s death case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) based on JAC’s demands.

Moreover, as requested by the JAC members, a second post-mortem was also conducted at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences on July 26 in presence of executive magistrate under video coverage.

While the police have detained some hostel staff, the JAC has accused the state government of slowing down the investigation process. Hence, the agitation gets intensified in the state.

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