Protesters burning tires on the road during 48-hour bandh in Manipur.

Imphal: The opposition Congress in Manipur has condemned the arrest of five Village Defense Volunteers (VDVs) on charges of possessing sophisticated weapons.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee vice president L Tilotama said that the party “condemns the police in the strongest possible terms for arresting the VDVs.”

“The VDVs are playing a vital role in protecting the people of Manipur from insurgents and other criminal elements. Their arrest is a serious blow to the security of the state,” Tilotama said.

Tilotama also alleged that the BJP-led government in Manipur is “politicizing the issue” of the VDVs’ arrest. “This is a serious matter and the government should not play with the security of the people,” she said.

Tilotama demanded the immediate release of the arrested VDVs. She also warned the Manipur government against taking any action that could further infuriate the public.

Bandh hits normal life in Manipur

Normal life in Manipur was affected on Tuesday, the first day of a 48-hour statewide bandh called by various civil society organizations demanding the unconditional release of the five VDVs.

Shops, markets, and educational institutions remained closed. Public transportation was also disrupted. The bandh is expected to continue until Wednesday.

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