Students’ strike, economic blockade hit life in Manipur
IMPHAL: Life was disrupted here on Thursday, following a 120-hour strike called by the Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur demanding the release of five students who were detained under the National Security Act in connection with the killing of a professor of Manipur University on May 25.
The All Manipur Tribal Students’ Union also imposed an indefinite economic blockade on National Highways 39 and 53, the lifelines of the State, demanding revision of the reservation for tribals.
Both the strike and the blockade started at the midnight on Wednesday night.
The Democratic Students’ Alliance said that as the Kanglei Yawol Kunna Lup, an underground organisation, claimed responsibility for the killing of Mohammad Islamuddin, professor of economics. there was no reason for arresting the students.
All 12 students who were arrested in connection with the case were released on bail. The government later detained five of them under the NSA.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, who also holds the Home portfolio, said the students were arrested for their involvement in the killing.
He instructed the police and para-military forces to act against the sponsors of the strike. On the tribal students’ demand, Mr. Ibobi said the reservation policy would not be revised.
Protesting farmers blockade mining company
The Jakarta Post July 17
Around 150 farmers living in Bangun Rejo village, Kutai Kartanegara regency, blocked the road access to coal firm PT Kitadin on Thursday to protest against activities stopping farmers from harvesting.
The protesters, who transmigrated from Blitar, East Java, in 1981, said mining activities had caused a build up of sediment in the river, whose water they relied mostly on to irrigate their rice fields.
The blockade took place from 8.30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Our rice fields failed to yield four times as the river could no longer irrigate our 150-hectare fields,” one of the farmers, Mislan, told The Jakarta Post.
He added the company had promised to help the farmers secure water but the promise never materialized.
The protest ended after farmer representatives and the firm agreed to hold talks to settle the issue.