New Delhi: Voicing "serious concern" over
the economic blockade of Manipur by Naga groups, the Home
Ministry has convened an emergency meeting of the chief
secretaries of both the states tomorrow to discuss steps to
Home Secretary G K Pillai will meet the Chief
Secretaries of Manipur and Nagaland to discuss the current
situation and steps to be taken to keep open the NH-39 which
is the main and direct road link to Manipur and the economic
lifeline of the northeastern state.
"Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has already spoken to
the Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Manipur to take necessary
steps to have the blockade withdrawn," an official
spokesperson said here.
The agitating Naga students last night decided to
temporarily suspend the blockade. The decision by Naga
Students` Federation (NSF) was taken at a meeting in Kohima
after its delegation met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New
Delhi discussing their demands.
At the request of the Manipur government, the Ministry
has decided to shortly deploy additional para-military forces
on NH-39 to remove the blockade and keep the highway open for
unhindered movement of traffic and goods, the official said.
The blockade which is nearing two months has crippled
normal life in Manipur following shortage of essential
supplies resulting from the seize.
Following the blockade of the highway, Home Ministry is
trying to ease the situation by transporting supplies through
"Two consignments of life saving drugs reached Imphal on
May 18, 2010 and additional consignment of life saving drugs
weighing 4 MT was airlifted by IAF aircraft on the same day.
Between May 17 and May 23, 2010, 492.52 quintals of PDS rice
was airlifted from FCI, Guwahati by AN 32 aircraft of Indian
Air Force," the official said.
The Ministry is also transporting essential supplies
using alternative and longer route of NH-53 under the escort
of state police since May 21, 2010.
"More than 1000 trucks and tankers with essential
commodities such as petroleum products, rice, have reached
Manipur through this route. An IL-76 aircraft carried 32 kilo
litres of kerosene oil on May 21, 2010 and 48 kilo-liltres of
petrol on May 22, 2010," the official said.
The government is also trying to ease the situation in
the state by transporting essential commodities through NH 150
with the assistance of Mizoram Government, he said.