After 130 days, economic blockade in Manipur comes to an end

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 20, 2017 08:52 hrs
After 130 days, economic blockade in Manipur comes to an end

Imphal: In what may come as a respite for the residents here, the economic blockade that lasted for 130 days was lifted a day ahead of CM Biren Singh's crucial floor test today..

Lifting of indefinite economic blockade was resolved in a tripartite talk, involving United Naga Council (UNC), the United Naga Council and the Manipur Goverment in Manipur's Senapati.

Another round of tripartite talks involving the State Government, the United Naga Council (UNC) and the Central Government was held on Sunday at the Senapati Deputy Commissioner office here.

Satyendra Garg, Ministry of Home Affairs - North East in-charge represented the Government of India at the tripartite meeting.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Suresh Babu and Works Commissioner K. Radhakumar represented the State Government.

All UNC leaders with the president Gaidon Kamei, who took part in the previous round of tripartite meeting held at Delhi, were also present.

The team included three former presidents, the president of the All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM) and the president of the Naga Women Union (NWU).

Since November 1, 2016, Manipur was facing an economic blockade spearheaded by the UNC.

The UNC has been of the view that the areas of Tamenglong, Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel in Manipur are Naga-majority hill districts, and opposed the creation of seven new districts in the state.

In protest, it announced an economic blockade of Manipur on grounds that the new districts encroach on the ancestral land of the Nagas and all it has done is to weaken their vote in upcoming state assembly elections.

The UNC had blocked National Highway 2 and 37 and had stopped all trucks from carrying supplies into Imphal. It had also blocked the Trans-Asian Highway.

The blockade had resulted in inflation in prices and shortages of food, fuel, medicines, gas and other essential supplies. Mobile internet has been suspended.

The police presence had been increased and 4000 personnel of central paramilitary forces had been deployed by the Government of India.

Incidents of assault of members of Naga and Meitei tribes in their minority areas have also been reported. Policemen have also been assaulted at some places and some government offices have also been burnt down.

Two rounds of meeting were already held regarding suspension or lifting of the economic blockade but without any success.

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