Manipur: Indefinite economic blockade to be lifted from today midnight

| Updated: Mar 20, 2017 03:26 IST

Imphal (Manipur) [India], Mar. 19 (ANI): In what may come as a respite for the residents here, indefinite economic blockade will be lifted from today midnight. 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. The following was agreed to in the talks: 1. The grievances of the UNC which led to the imposition of economic blockade by them was recognised as there was non-adherence to the 4 (four) Memoranda of Understanding and the Government of India's assurance on the matter. The Government of Manipur agrees to start consultation with all stakeholders to redress the same. 2. To create conducive environment for the democratic process of consultation and dialogue, the UNC will lift the economic blockade with effect from tonight. 3. The Government of Manipur will unconditionally release the arrested United Naga Council leaders and all the cases related to economic blockade against the Naga tribes leaders and students' leaders will be closed. 4. Next tripartite talks will be held within a month time at political level. The UNC appreciated the initiative and new approach of the Manipur Government in coming forward to address the core issue at hand. Another round of tripartite talks involving the State Government, the United Naga Council (UNC) and the Central Government was held today 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. (ANI)