A deserted street in Senapati, Manipur Credit: EastMojo image 

Imphal: Senapati district-based civil societies in Manipur on Tuesday warned that they will impose an ‘indefinite economic blockade’ along National Highway 2 (Imphal-Mao highway) if the state government fails to address their demands of suspending deputy commissioner Somorjit Salam from service for allegedly violating of COVID-19 protocols within 24 hours.

In a statement issued by the Naga People’s Organisation (NPO), Senapati District Students’ Organisation (SDSO) and Senapati District Women Association (SDWA) said that since Manipur government is not meeting their demands over the 48-hour ultimatum served to them, they have now given another 24 hours to the state government with effect from 6 pm on May 19.

If the state government fails to meet our demand within 24 hrs’ stipulated time, the organisations will impose an ‘indefinite economic blockade’ along the NH-2 with effect from 6 pm in the evening on May 20, warned the CSOs.

However, services like medical, fire brigade, media persons and permit holders of stranded persons entering Manipur will be exempted from the purview of the blockade, the statement said.

Meanwhile, acting on the CSOs’ ultimatum 48-hrs to the state government, Governor Najma Heptulla announced the transfer order of Senapati DC Somorjit Salam to Kangpokpi district and he will be replaced by Lalithambigai Kalidash as the magistrate of the district on Monday.

However, the CSOs have accused the state government of having aggrieved by the utter negligence and failure to act on their demand.

The organisations are not against the state government, but to demand justice of the general public of Senapati as DC Somorjit Salam has violated COVID-19 quarantine protocols on the May 13 by given them safe passage to 36 returnees from Mumbai during ‘no entry hour’ at Mao Gate, said the statement.

Also, the district magistrate hosted them dinner and night half at multi-purpose hall, a non-designated quarantine center putting thousands of lives of Senapati district at great risk following two persons from the Mumbai returnees tested COVID-19 positive, it said.

Earlier, the district CSOs also expressed their angst and strong resentment against the deputy commissioner for causing serious health concerns, terming an ‘utter negligence’ of the district administrator while addressing the situation.

On Tuesday, the district administrator imposed a curfew under sub-section 2 of section 144 CrPC in the district from 6 pm to 6 am with immediate effect.

It has become expedient to issue prohibitory order with the objective of preventing danger to human life, health, safety, breach of peace and disturbance of public tranquility, said the order.

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