Manipur blockades create hardship
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Last Updated: Saturday, September 10, 2011, 19:28
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 'arms'.

To add to the woes of the people, a fresh blockade was announced on yet another highway from September 15 by a different organisation.

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Hills to stock up on food and essential items 'at least for two months' for an intensified agitation which would not be withdrawn till their demand was fulfilled by the government.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 district.

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.


First Published: Saturday, September 10, 2011, 19:28

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