Reacting to the frequent ‘racial attacks’ on northeastern people in New Delhi, students’ organisations in Manipur enforced a ‘curfew’ to keep non-locals indoors from 5am on Wednesday.
The 19-hour ‘curfew’ virtually put under house arrest roughly 500,000 non-Manipuris in Imphal and adjoining areas. Most of the non-locals are traders or in central government or private sector jobs.
Shops and business establishments run by non-Manipuris remained closed while non-local students skipped schools and colleges. This followed the ‘curfew’ call by the Joint Students’ Coordination Committee (JSCC) restricting all outdoor activities including movement of non-Manipuris.
“We took the step to protest the racial attacks and discrimination against people from the Northeast in mainland India, especially the metros,” Laishram Reagan, a student leader, said.
“We will intensify our agitation if our demand for enactment of law to fight racial crimes is not met,” Th Premananda, spokesperson of JSCC, said.
People in the northeast have been protesting a series of alleged racial attacks on northeasterners in Delhi since the death of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido
Tania following an assault on January 29. The rape of a minor girl from Manipur a week later and the stabbing of a Manipur youth added fuel to the fire.
Earlier in the day, Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh met home minister Sushil Kumar Sindhe and other central leaders in connection with the ‘racist’ attacks in Delhi.