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Anti-citizenship Bill stir hits normal life in Manipur

By Newmai News

IMPHAL, Nov 19 - Normal life in Manipur was hit today due to the 18-hour �total shutdown� called by the Manipur People Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (MANPAC) in protest against the Centre�s plan to bring back the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Police detained three women protesters during the shutdown.

The shutdown evoked complete response from people of all walks of life. People came out on to the streets in their respective localities and imposed the strike across the valley districts. They staged road blockades and shouted slogans against the citizenship Bill.

The protesters also called for protection of the interests and territory of the State.

All commercial vehicles stayed off the roads. Only a few private vehicles, mostly two-wheelers, plied on the streets. No classes were held in the government schools and colleges that were open.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, Chief Minister N Biren Singh has said that any issue can be resolved through dialogue. He said this at a function to observe the Quami Ekta Week held at the Banquet Hall of the 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles today.

The Chief Minister said that the State Government has been constantly urging the Centre to invite civil society organisations and �stakeholders� of the State for consultation on the Indo-Naga peace talks. He also expressed the State Government�s desire to meet representatives of the Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) before the Central Government�s invitation. He appealed to the representatives of the COCOMI and MANPAC to come forward for talks with the Government.

On the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the Chief Minister reiterated that the Union Home Minister had already assured that the interests of the people of the North East would not be affected by the Bill.

Biren Singh said that bandhs adversely affect the normal lives of the people at grassroots. �We must resist the diktats and whims of some particular sections of the society,� he added.

Highlighting the need of cooperation for inclusive development of the State, the Chief Minister appealed to all guests on TV talk shows to have healthy discussions under the purview of the topics at hand. They should not speak any word that can hurt the sentiments of any community living in the State, Biren Singh stressed.

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