Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh today appealed to the militants to lay down arms and participate in the development programmes undertaken by the government for the welfare of the people.
Unfurling the National Flag at the Parade Ground of 1st Manipur Rifles Battalion here, he said, "In a democratic country like ours, everything can be discussed through dialogue and violence will not bring any solution." Independence Day was today observed in Manipur amid heavy security deployment in view of a 'general strike' called by major insurgent organisations.
Both central para-military and state forces were deployed around the complex where the chief minister unfurled the flag.
Official sources said the state forces were also deployed in various parts of the state capital to prevent any untoward incident on the Independence Day.
Meanwhile, normal life was affected in the state capital as a fallout of the insurgents-sponsored general strike with all the major roads wearing a deserted look since vehicles were off the road and people preferring to remain indoors, official reports said.
Reports from the districts said Independence Day was observed in all the district headquarters.
The Coordination Committee, formed by six major insurgent organisations including United National Liberation Front, Revolutionary People's Front, Kanglei Yawol Kann Lup and Kangleipak Communist Party, has called a 'general strike' from 1.00 am till 5.30 pm today against the celebration of Independence Day saying "Manipur was forcibly merged with the Union of India in 1949."