Security tightened ahead of Independence day

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Imphal, Aug 14 (UNI) The Manipur government today beefed up security to ensure smooth observation of tomorrow's Independence day celebrations.

Police frisked passersby and conducted search operations.

Large number of security personnel were also deputed at strategic locations. Police said the security personnel will be stationed during the night as well.

The state level celebration function will be held at the 1st Manipur Rifles parade ground at 0930 hours with Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh as the Chief Guest.

About 35 parade contingents led by CO, 2nd IRB, K Radheshyam as parade commander, will take part. Various cultural programmes will also be held.

Officials said medals and prizes will be distributed by the chief minister.

Four militant groups of the north east had called for boycott of the day's celebration.

In a joint statement the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), Manipur People's Liberation Front (MPLF), Tripura People's Democratic Front (TPDF) and United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) also called a general strike from 1 am(tonight) to 6 pm(tomorrow) throughout the region.

The statement further said for the last ten years the organisations had called for boycott of the celebrations in the region as a symbolic expression of opposition to the 'occupation' of the region.

It said attempts were made "through military tactics to coerce" the groups to hold talks.

''Peace talks have not yielded any result even after ten years of talk. Peace talks will never solve the political demands of the people for sovereignty,'' the statement said.

UNI NS PL KLC1452

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