Imphal: Shop run by Tribal Forced to Shut Down

Imphal, 21 November (TP): A mega shopping complex, Vishal Mega Mart, in Imphal owned by TN Haokip who is a seating Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manipur was forced to shut down by group of valley-based non-tribal on account of his support for the Hills Area Committee’s proposed Autonomous District Council Bill 2021.

Mr. TN Haokip, a Congress leader from Saikot constituency in Churachandpur district, who is very vocal about tabling of the proposed bill in the Assembly owns the Vishal Mega Mart. The unruly group of men rushed inside the shop and ordered the shop to be closed immediately. They slurred slogans and statements like “go and run business in hill” ordering that tribal should not take up business in the valley. In the video floating on social media, this group of men shouted customers to evacuate immediately from the shop. One from the group stated in the video, “we can no longer travel on the highway but they (hill tribal) are running business here.” Communal confrontation is not uncommon in Manipur since the last decades.

This incident occurred as a reactionary action against the total bandh announced by the All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) in all hill districts on 20 November. The ATSUM stated that, this bandh was necessitated because their talks with the Government of Manipur had failed the previous day as the Government did not agree to table the proposed ADC Bill 2021 in the upcoming Assembly seating. As a strong democratic measure, the tribal apex body announced bandh for 24 hours in all hill districts to agitate against the decision of the Government of Manipur.

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