Imphal: With two crippling economic
blockades for over a month on national highways hitting hard
the people particularly in the valley districts of land-locked
Manipur, one of the sponsors on Saturday called for taking up
To add to the woes of the people, a fresh blockade was
announced on yet another highway from September 15 by a
The Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) had
launched the indefinite economic blockades on the
Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati National Highway 39 and
Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar National Highway 53 since August 1.
Its president Ngamkhohao Haokip and general secretary
Tonghen Kipgen today in a signed statement said "we must
be ready with any weapon at our disposal."
They also called for retaliation if efforts were made
to suppress the agitation.
Official reports said that people of the valley were
facing steep increase in prices and a scarcity of food and
essential commodities because of the two ongoing blockades.
People residing in the valley in interior hill districts
such as Ukhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong and Churachandpur were
suffering the maximum inconvenience.
The sources said that over 400 Manipur-bound trucks and
oil tankers were stranded in Assam and other places due to
the economic blockade.
So far 15 trucks have been torched at Kangpokpi and
nearby areas in Sadar Hills by supporters of economic
blockades, they said.
Haokip and Kipgen asked the people of the Sadar Hills
to stock up on food and essential items `at least for two
months` for an intensified agitation which would not be
withdrawn till their demand was fulfilled by the government.
They were demanding conversion of Kuki-majority Sadar
Hills in Senapati district into a full-fledged revenue
On the other hand, opposing the SHDDC`s demands, the
United Naga Council (UNC) has also launched economic blockades
on the two highways since the middle of August.
Security would be provided soon to bring trucks and
oil tankers to Imphal and efforts would be made to transport
essential items through national highways by deploying more
state and central para military forces, official sources said.
Meanwhile, a separate organisation, the Jiribam District
Demand Committee (JDDC) has said it would launch an indefinite
economic blockade on Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar NH 53 from
September 15 to press for conversion of Jiribam in Imphal
East district into a full-fledged district.
Jiribam is about 222 km west of Imphal and is a town
on the Assam border.