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Pharmacies urge CM to save them from militant atrocities

IMPHAL, Jun 3: Pharmaceuticals shop owners near the Thoubal district hospital today urged the Manipur chief minister to protect them from atrocities meted out on them by PREPAK militants for not shelling out their extortion demand of Rs. 2 lakhs.In the meantime, labourers of the brick fields in Imphal west also commenced an indefinite sit-in protest today against closure of the brick fields due to heavy monetary demands on the proprietors.Another sit-in protest was also staged in front of the Lamlong High School at Khurai Lamlong by students of the school against serving of monetary demands on the teachers of the school.Pharmacies in Thoubal district, mention may be made, have been closed since yesterday owing to the threats given to them for not meeting the monetary demands served on a letterhead of the PREPAK dated May 17, 2008 signed by its finance co-ordinator for party funds.Today, the proprietors of the pharmacies called on the chief minister at his bungalow and submitted a representation urging him to look into the matter and make necessary arrangements to protect them from the militants.In the representation, the proprietors said that the unlawful PREPAK raised a demand of Rs. 2 lakhs on the pharmacy shops located near the Thoubal district hospital.The threat given to them to close down their shops unless the demands were met, compelled the pharmacy shops to shut down, the representation stated. While submitting the representation, the pharmacies also attached a photocopy of the demand letter sent by the outfit to the pharmacy shops.In the demand letter signed by the finance coordinator of the outfit, the pharmacies were asked for "willful contribution" of Rs. 2 lakhs for the national liberation movement of Kangleipak (Manipur) and upholding of the movement."The party never uses senseless violence against any individual or organization except its military opposing the Indian occupation forces while carrying out its revolutionary tasks for the emancipation of the NLM of the Kangleipak people. The party only makes requests or appeals for realizing any form of contribution from our people to liberate Kangleipak from the clutches of Indian colonialism. Young men and women, elder people, clubs and organizations and meira paibis, human rights and humanitarian organizations, youths and students organizations have been relentlessly contributing their mite, morally, physically or in kind for achieving the ultimate goal of the national liberation movement - the liberation of Kangleipak from Indian colonial rule," the demand letter stated.It added that the party believed the NLM would not be successful without the sincere support of the elders, brothers and sisters, reeling under the Indian colonial system, it said.On the other hand, the labourers of the brick fields at Patsoi area in Imphal west commenced a sit-in protest today near NBS brick field against closure of the brick fields owing to monetary demands on the proprietors.Owing to the monetary demands, mention may be made, the brick fields have been remaining closed for the last around one month as they were unable to meet the huge monetary demands from various underground groups operating in both valley and hills.The closure of the fields has cut off the day to day livelihood of many, said the labourers participating in the protest.Another sit-in protest was also staged today by the students of Lamlong High School, Lamlong Bazar in Imphal east against the demand served on their teachers. "Don`t make demands on the teachers`, `Make educational institutes a free zone`, read the placards displayed at the protest site
(Courtesy:IFP)

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