Imphal: Indefinite curfew was on Monday imposed in the entire Manipur valley as roads were blocked and tyres set ablaze as part of protests against the alleged molestation of a film actress by a Naga militant and the killing of a journalist in police firing, official sources said.

As soon as the 16-hour curfew clamped in Imphal East and Imphal West from 2:00 pm Sunday and ended on Monday morning, people streamed out on to roads with the support of major social organisations and began blocking them and setting ablaze inflammable material, including tyres, the sources said.

Following this, curfew was clamped from 11:00 am in Imphal East, Imphal West, as well as Bishenpur and Thoubal districts where the disturbances had spread, the sources said.

Earlier on Sunday, the president of the Manipur Film Forum (MFF) Surjakanta Sharma had announced relaxation of the general strike from midnight Sunday night till December 26 midnight in view of Christmas.

A section of the MFF, however, disagreed and told local media last evening that there was no question of relaxation of the general strike. The sources said since the curfew was imposed suddenly, the police were going around with public address systems in the valley districts asking people to remain indoors because of curfew.

They said that hundreds of people particularly from hill areas who came to shop for Christmas were stranded in different parts of the valley districts. They were likely to be sent back with security escort, they said. A journalist was killed in police firing on Sunday amidst protests during an indefinite general strike called by the MFF demanding the arrest of NSCN-IM militant Livingstone Anal who had allegedly molested film actress Momoko and threatened two other artistes on December 18 at Chandel.


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