Medico’s death: Strike throws normal life in Manipur out of gear

Activists demand conclusion of magisterial inquiry and interrogation of RIMS officials

Normal life in Manipur was thrown out of gear as a result of the 24-hour general strike called by the Justice for Sanaton group from Monday night.

Sanaton Athokpam was an MBBS student in the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal. His body was found hanging inside his hostel room on March 15. Family members and leaders of the Justice for Sanaton say his hands were tied in the back. His body reportedly bore marks of physical torture. One activist says a man cannot hang himself to death with his hands tied behind.

Six students’ bodies and some organisations of women activists in Manipur have extended support to the general strike. M. Loyalakpa, convener of Justice for Sanaton, said, “We appreciate the support extended by the students and the women activists. It is incomprehensible why this case cannot be solved so long. We demand conclusion of the ongoing magisterial inquiry and interrogation of the RIMS director, the Dean [academic] and the hostel warden.”

The police stepped up patrols in all trouble-prone areas. However, attendance in the offices was very thin. All educational institutes looked deserted. The government had declared month-long summer vacation for all educational institutes from May 1 due to COVID-19.

All shops and commercial centres were closed. No vehicles except those in the essential services plied. Inter-State bus and truck services remained suspended.

Activists say there will be more agitations till the people behind the ‘murder’ are punished.

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