Protest in Manipur over price rise

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Imphal, Apr 9 (ANI): Activists of Communist Party and the All Manipur Nupi Marup, a local women's influential group, on Thursday staged a protest here over the rising prices of essential commodities.

As a part of the nationwide agitation announced by the Communist Party of India (CPI) recently, the activists held agitations in all the four districts of Manipur.

However, the police prevented the protest, deploying water cannons and teargas to disperse the crowd and also arrested some of the agitators.

"Because of it (lack of train connectivity) price rise is differently high in our state, particularly. We want to bring to the notice of the central government immediately that Manipur is the most seriously affected state in the whole country and the state government is also doing very little thing. They should pressure more to the central (federal) government for curbing this price rise," said B Sharma, former general secretary of CPI, Manipur State Council.

The wholesale price index rose 7.3 percent in December from a year earlier, its highest since November 2008, and accelerated from a 4.8 percent gain in November.

The rise was driven by near 20 percent jump in food prices, which rose on weak monsoon rains and flooding in parts of the country, but inflation in manufacturing products picked up to 5.2 percent from four percent in November, a sign that inflationary pressures were spreading to other sectors of the economy.

Sugar, in particular, has been a problem, with Congress Party caught in the middle of competing demands from consumers who want lower prices while cane farmers seek higher prices for their produce.

The supply situation deteriorated further in recent months when Uttar Pradesh, seeking to help cane farmers, banned processing raw sugar, jamming 750,000 tonnes of raw sugar at ports. (ANI)

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