Coordinating Committee (CorCom), an umbrella body of prominent rebel outfits in Manipur, has announced a statewide shutdown on January 4 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Imphal.
CorCom, in a statement issued on January 2, said it is doing this to “boycott” the prime minister’s visit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to arrive in Imphal at 11 am on January 4 to inaugurate and also to lay foundation stones of 22 developmental projects.
The PM’s programme will be held at Imphal Hapta Kangjeibung. The prime minister will also address the people of the state after the programme. He will leave for Agartala in Tripura in the afternoon.
According to the CorCom statement, the total shutdown which will commence from 1 am on January 4 will continue until the prime minister leaves the state. It further said that essential services such as medical, power, fire services and religious-related activities will be outside the purview of the total shutdown.
The statement issued by the publicity committee of CorCom to the media on January 2 also said that the people of Manipur have no reason to welcome the prime minister. “His visit is neither for speeding up the developmental paces in the state nor to ensure rights which are enjoyable by the people of a free nation,” the statement said.
“The main objective of the prime minister’s visit is nothing but to strengthen India’s colonial rule in the state,” it added.
It then said that election is the tool which India shows the world that the country is a democratic country. “Election is a message that can be sent out to the world that Manipur is an integral part of India,” CorCom added in its statement.
Security tightened ahead of PM’s visit
The boycott call comes at a time when stringent security measures have been adopted in the state ahead of Modi’s visit. Taking pre-emptive measures ahead of Modi’s visit, security has been tightened at all strategic locations across Imphal.
Manipur Police commandos have been conducting sudden raids and combing operations at hotels and some localities in both Imphal West and Imphal East districts in the last few days.
Police have been patrolling the roads and frisking the passersby, while combing operations were also being conducted at various places, in the backdrop of militant groups operating in the state calling for a boycott of the prime minister’s visit.