Muivah visit: Pillai, Pandey in Manipur; Nagaland wants Centre`s opinion

With NSCN-IM leader Muivah asking the Centre to facilitate his visit to his ancestral village failing which his people would find a way themselves, the Govt today rushed to Manipur two top officials.

Imphal/Kohima: Union Home Secretary G K Pillai
today held discussions with the Manipur government and senior
officials on the situation arising from the economic blockade
by Naga students and NSCN-IM leader Thuingaleng Muivah`s
attempt to enter the state to visit his ancestral village.

Official sources said the meeting discussed the
counter blockade by some valley-based organisations preventing
transport of essential items to hill districts as a protest
against the All Naga Students` Association Manipur (ANSAM)-
sponsored economic blockade on national highways.

Besides Pillai, who reached Imphal by a special flight
from Delhi today, top officials from Army, CRPF, Assam Rifles
and BSF also attended the meeting.

The state government had approached the Centre to
provide security on the Imphal-Silchar National Highway 53
so that trucks loaded with essential items could ply without
disruption since the ANSAM was blockading the Imphal-Dimapur
National Highway 39.

In Delhi, Union Home Ministry sources said Pillai will
return on Wednesday night. They, however, refused to reveal
the nature of Pillai`s visit.

The Manipur government has opposed Muivah`s visit
saying it would disturb communal amity since the NSCN-IM has
demanded a `greater Nagaland` comprising Naga-inhabited areas
in neighbouring states. The idea has been turned down by the
Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh governments.

Manipur had clamped prohibitory orders and deployed
the police in strength at the Mao checkgate on the inter-state
border to prevent Muivah from entering the state.

Muivah, who has been camping in Viswema village of
Manipur since May 5 on Monday said, "Our patience is running
thin...We decided to defer (the visit) at the request of the
PMO, but we will not wait indefinitely. Anyway, I will go to
my birthplace, no one can stop me."

Meanwhile, stocks of petrol and essential commodities
were running low in valley areas of Manipur with the three
week old blockade by the Naga students in the hill districts
preventing entry of trucks, as a counter blockade began today
to stop supplies to the hills.

ANSAM launched the blockade to protest the state
government`s proposal to hold elections to autonomous district
councils (ADC) in the hill areas on May 26 on the grounds that
not enough funds were given to them.

The stock of petrol in the state would last for seven
to 10 days only, government spokesman N Biren told
mediapersons here.

Official sources said normally between 250 and 300
trucks loaded with essential items ran on highway, but because
of the blockade, no vehicle plied for more than a week now.


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