Protest against missing Muslims affects trade in Moreh
IMPHAL: The cross-border trade between India and Myanmar at Moreh in Manipur has come to a grinding halt due to a 24-hour general strike called to protest "government apathy" in solving the case of two missing Muslims.
There was no vehicular movement due to the strike.
Hundreds of tourists and traders were stranded at Moreh, and cross-border trade with Namphalong in Myanmar was severely hit.
However, schools and the college at Moreh functioned normally and there was no obstruction to essential services.
The communities of the Meiteis, Kukis, Tamils, Muslims and others called for the general strike protesting against government apathy in solving the case of the two missing Muslims from Moreh ward No.5 since May 2.
The two were identified as Mohammad Jalanuddin, 30, son of Mohammad Junab Ali, and Mohammad Kheiruddin, 24, son of Mohammad Fujibur Rahman. They left Moreh on May 2 morning ostensibly for fishing in Myanmar where trouts are abundant in the mountain streams. But they never returned.
Moreh residents learned from their Myanmarese counterparts that two bullet-riddled bodies suspected to be of the two men were seen at Wukshu village in Myanmar.
But when some village elders crossed over for confirmation the bodies had "disappeared".
The district administration has been in touch with its counterpart in Myanmar.
The officials from Myanmar told the district administration of Moreh that nothing definite is known and promised to share any information.
At a meeting of community leaders, it was felt that the Manipur government was not doing enough to ascertain the fate of the two missing persons.
As a first step, a 24-hour shutdown was called by the civil organisations at Moreh.
There was no report of any untoward incident during the shutdown.
Police told agencies that the two missing persons had no known occupation at Moreh but appeared to be daily wage earners.
Hundreds of tourists and traders venture deep inside Myanmar up to Tamu everyday and there is no report of any missing person.
In case of arrest, the information is passed on to the district administration.
Meanwhile, many people fear the worst about the two missing persons.