Imphal: Police burst tear gas shells to disperse a mob in Manipur`s Imphal West district during the indefinite general strike called by a film body against the alleged molestation of a film actress by an NSCN-IM militant.
Official sources said police forces were patrolling at different parts of the valley and found vehicle tyres were burnt and logs and boulders were put up to prevent movement of people during the general strike.
They said while trying to remove burnt tyres and other obstacles on the road at Khurai area near here, supporters of the general strike turned violent and started pelting stones at police vehicles and this led to the bursting of tear gas shells to disperse the mob.
Barring the security vehicles, hardly a civil vehicle plied on the roads, reports said, adding, strike was intensified at various parts of valley with the blocking of roads, shouting of slogans against the `beastly act` of the NSCN-IM militant Livingstone Anal who continues to be at large.
The general strike has also affected the enthusiasm surrounding Christmas as people particularly from hill districts could not come to the state capital for purchase of different items to prepare for the upcoming festival, reports said.
The 11-hour-long night curfew, imposed in Imphal East and Imphal West districts since the violence spread yesterday, ended at 6 am this morning but situation in the state remained tense, official sources said.
Official sources said prohibitory orders under section 144
banning the gathering of five or more persons was already in force in Imphal East and Imphal West districts.
Appealing to the strikers particularly Manipur Film Forum (MFF), state home minister Gaikhangam said all efforts were on trace and arrest the NSCN-IM militant Livingstone Anal.
Anal had allegedly molested film actress Momoko in public view while she was compering a musical concert at Chandel district on December 18 and fired at two artists who tried to save her. The bullets missed the target.
Gaikhangam said Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh is in Delhi meeting union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to discuss the arrest of Anal since NSCN-IM was engaged in peace talks with the Centre after signing the ceasefire 14 years ago.
Ceasefire is in force only in Nagaland but not in Manipur, officials said.
Gaikhangam and several civil organisations, who condemned the incident, appealed MFF to call off the strike in view of the Christmas celebrations but there has not been any response so far from the film body.