General Strike

IMPHAL, May 5: Denouncing the arrest of their president and deputy secretary (organization) for staging democratic agitation in protest against cancellation of parking allotment for rickshaws and hand-carts in- side Khwairamband Keithel, All Manipur Rickshaw Drivers and Pullers Welfare Association has called 36 hours general strike within Imphal Municipal Area with effect from 6 am of May 6.

This was declared by the association’s secretary (organization) Ch Basanta during a press meet at Sagolsem Mandop near Khoyathong Pukhri Achouba this evening.

Basanta said that the general strike is in continuation of the cease work strike launched since May 3.

The rickshaw pullers launched the cease work strike in protest against cancellation of parking allotments for rickshaws and hand-carts in Imphal city without making any alternative arrangements.

It is reported that the association’s secretary Leihaothabam Subash and deputy secretary (organization) A Gaffar were arrested after they were summoned by the Imphal West Additional SP in the pretext of talking about something.

Basanta demanded immediate release of their arrested leaders as well as allotment parking spaces at the same places where they used to park their rickshaws and hand-carts.

In case the two demands are not fulfilled at the earliest, intense forms of agitation would be launched together with civil society organizations and the people.

The general strike would cover Singjamei, Kwakeithel, Tera Bazar, Wangkhei and Kongba.

However essential services, education, religious functions and media would be exempted from the purview of the general strike, he said.

For any untoward incident resulting from defying the general strike, the concerned individuals should bear full responsibility, Basanta said.

Saying that the association has around 3000 members, Basanta reminded that passenger rickshaws have been completely banned from entering Khwairamband Keithel since a few days back.

The Government’s new initiative has also prohibited hand-carts.

These carts can be loaded only by going to the godowns or shops. But they are given parking space only at Bora Gali, he decried.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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