‘Economic bandh’ in Naga inhabited areas of Manipur called off

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Imphal, February 22: The indefinite “economic bandh” in the Naga inhabited areas of Manipur was called off on its second day on Saturday after an arrested NSCN(IM) militant was released by the chief judicial magistrate of CJM Senapati district.
The NSCN(IM) cadre was released on Saturday morning, officials said.
Student organisations and the locals were demanding his unconditional release.
The “economic bandh” was called by All Naga Students Association Manipur(ANSAM), which also supported the “lightning strike” by the Senapati District Students Association.
He was arrested Friday afternoon by Assam Rifles personnel from Senapati town. When the news spread a mob of locals vandalised a truck of the para military force and blocked movement of all vehicles on the Mayangkhang-Senapati section of NH-2, the officials said.
The AR personnel had captured the man during an operation to locate culprits who had on Thursday snatched the AK 47 rifle of an officer of the force in the district, they said.
The weapon was returned on Thursday evening through civil bodies, the officials said.
The confrontation between AR and NSCN-IM took place at a time when the two sides are engaged in peace talks and a ceasefire agreement is in progress in Nagaland but not in Manipur.
The AR personnel had taken a “soft approach” to defuse the tension and restore normalcy, they added. (PTI)