Manipur rebels call for strike, government sounds alert

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 14, 2012 14:20 hrs

Imphal, Oct 14 (IANS) The central government has sounded a security alert in Manipur about possible terror strikes in view of the general strike seven powerful secessionist outfits have called, an official said Sunday.

"There is a possibility of the rebels attacking security forces to prove their strength. Therefore, we have sounded a security alert to all our forces. But we are ready to meet any eventuality," Imphal West district police chief Konsam Jayanta Singh told IANS.

The Coordination Committee (CorCom) - an umbrella grouping of seven major separatist outfits in Manipur - fighting for an independent state for the majority Meitei community in the state, has called for an 18-hour general strike starting from Oct 14 midnight. The outfits are protesting the erstwhile princely state of Manipur's merger agreement with the Indian Union 63 years ago.

Manipur joined the Union of India in October 1949 after a merger agreement was signed between the government of India and the then Maharaja of Manipur Sep 21, 1949, which came into force from Oct 15, 1949.

More than 5,000 security personnel, including from Manipur Police, the army, Assam Rifles and other central paramilitary forces, have been pressed into service to thwart any untoward incident during the general strike.

In the last few months, rebel groups have triggered over 20 improvised explosive device (IED) blasts, killing and injuring security forces and civilians.

There are more than 20 rebel armies active in Manipur, a state bordering Myanmar, with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy.

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