Naga group threatens fresh blockade, invited for talks

August 3rd, 2010 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS) The central government Tuesday invited Naga rebels for talks and urged them not to press the economic blockade against Manipur that the United Naga Council has threatened to enforce for 20 days from Wednesday.
“The centre has urged the United Naga Council not to resort to economic blockade of Manipur and participate in the next round of talks. The appeal is in view of the hardship that would be caused to the common people,” a home ministry statement said.

The appeal was made after a press statement by the United Naga Council threatening to resume the economic blockade of the Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati national highway (NH 39) and the Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar national highway (NH 53).

The home ministry statement said a round-table meeting under the chairmanship of Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi Singh was organised Tuesday to discuss matters relating to the autonomous district councils in Manipur.

The next round of talks would be convened shortly, the statement said.

If the highway blockade is enforced, Manipur will be heading for another round of scarcity of essential goods from Wednesday.

The Naga council said the blockade would begin from 6 a.m. if the government-imposed restrictions were not lifted immediately from some hill areas.

A crippling 68-day economic blockade of the highways, called by the All-Naga Students Association, was lifted June 18.

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