Manipur witnessed a total shutdown for the second consecutive day on Friday, following a 24-hour strike called by All Clubs Organisation Association and Meira Paibi Lup, Kangleipak, a women’s association, in protest against dropping weightlifter Laishram Monika Devi from the Indian Olympic squad on doping charges.
Monika, who was selected to compete in the 69-kg category, was scheduled to leave for Beijing on Tuesday. But she was informed at the last moment that she tested positive in a dope test and could not be allowed to take part in the Olympic Games.
On Thursday, police had to fire teargas shells to disperse the protestors when they were marching towards chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh's residence. The United Committee Manipur has also called for a 22-hour general strike, ending at 8 pm on Friday. Meanwhile, the Imphal East district magistrate has clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144, CrPC.
On Friday, all roads leading to the state capital wore a deserted look, as all vehicles stayed off the roads. Over 100 Imphal-bound trucks were stranded on the Manipur-Nagaland border. Air services, however, were normal.
Business establishments were all closed, and attendance in government offices was thin. "Everyone needs to support the strike, as it's for the future of our players and for the nation,” a lady activist told HT.
Shooting coach seeks SC intervention
The Supreme Court will, on Monday, hear a petition filed by the coach of the Indian shooting team for the Beijing Olympics challenging the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision of not allowing him to accompany the players to the sporting event which began on Friday.