92-day Manipur blockade partially liftedNovember 1st, 2011 - 5:15 pm ICT by IANS
Imphal, Nov 1 (IANS) The 92-day economic blockade in Manipur was partially lifted Tuesday with one of the two striking groups ending its agitation following a written assurance by the state government to create a new hill district.
The agreement between the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) and the state government was signed late Monday in capital Imphal with leaders of the Committee and senior officials present.
The SHDDC had launched the economic blockade Aug 1 on two national highways - Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati (NH 39) and Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar (NH53) - to press the demand for conversion of Kuki tribal majority Sadar Hills area into a full fledged district.
“We have decided to withdraw the blockade following assurance from the government to create a new district,” a SHDDC leader told IANS.
The government side at the two-hour meeting was represented by state Chief Secretary D.S. Poonia, an official said.
SHDDC leaders also held a separate meeting with Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
However, tribal Nagas inhabiting the area are opposed to creation of a Sadar Hills district.
The Nagas have since Aug 1 also launched a counter-blocakde on the two highways opposing the demand by the Kuki people for a separate district.
The Naga counter-blockade is being spearheaded by the United Naga Council (UNC).
“We are continuing with our agitation and there would be no compromise on our stand,” a UNC leader said.
Officials have their fingers crossed.
“Though the SHDDC has decided to lift the road blockade, the UNC is still continuing their blockade. I hope good sense would prevail on everybody as the people of the state have been suffering a lot,” Deputy Commissioner of Senapati district Pradip Kumar Jha told IANS by phone.
Several civil society groups Tuesday urged the UNC to call of the economic blockade as it was greatly inconveniencing the population.
The 92-day old blockade led to shortage of essentials, petroleum products and cooking gas cylinders, besides medicines.
A cooking gas cylinder began to sell in the black market for as high as Rs.2,000, while a liter of petrol sold at Rs.200.
“We are beginning discussions with the UNC to convince them and lift the blockade so that trucks carrying essentials and other items are able to reach Manipur,” a government spokesperson said.
Leaders of SHDDC and UNC are expected to separately meet Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi soon.
“Technically speaking the blockade is still continuing with the UNC adamant on their stand. Efforts are on to break the deadlock,” the government spokesperson said.
The two highways are the lifeline to Manipur as supplies of all essentials are brought to the state from adjoining Assam and other parts of India.
- Total blockade in parts of Manipur, life badly affected - Nov 04, 2011
- Nagas warn of fresh action as PM visits Manipur - Dec 03, 2011
- United Naga Council temporarily lifts Manipur blockade - Nov 28, 2011
- BJP slams government for Manipur blockade - Nov 07, 2011
- Manipur on brink of breakdown with 99 days of blockade - Nov 07, 2011
- Situation in Manipur remains grim: Minister - Dec 01, 2011
- Blockade lifted, but Manipur still tense - Dec 02, 2011
- Manipur blockade enters 100th day, supplies drying up - Nov 08, 2011
- On Day 100, Manipur warns of 'harsh action' - Nov 08, 2011
- PM to visit blockade-hit Manipur - Nov 28, 2011
- Prices soar in blockade-hit Manipur - Oct 23, 2011
- Chidambaram appeals for suspension of Manipur blockade - Oct 31, 2011
- Parties demand President's Rule in blockade-hit Manipur - Oct 14, 2011
- Resolve issues through dialogue: Chidambaram - Nov 02, 2011
- Chidambaram to visit blockade-hit Manipur - Oct 29, 2011
Tags: agitation, chief minister, chief secretary, civil society groups, compromise, deputy commissioner, economic blockade, good sense, government side, guwahati, jha, national highways, nov 1, road blockade, sadar, senior officials, state chief, state government, two highways, unc