Manipur economic blockade ends today
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Last Updated: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 10:35
  
Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Naga Students' Federation (NSF) will temporarily suspend the economic blockade imposed on Manipur-bound vehicles from Tuesday evening.

The NSF on Monday announced that it was temporarily suspending the economic blockade following a meeting with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

A five-member NSF delegation met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and had about an hour-long meeting on the ongoing crisis.

The move also came on a day when the Centre decided to send security forces to remove the 65-day-old blockade of two national highways in the Northeast by Naga groups.

The Home Ministry decided to send 16 companies (about 1,600 personnel) of central paramilitary forces, including one women company to assist the Manipur government to clear the blocked highways since April 11. Besides six companies are also being sent to Nagaland.

"We have decided to send Central forces to remove the blockade," Home Secretary G K Pillai said.

He said chief secretaries of Nagaland and Manipur will meet here on Wednesday to review the situation.

After the meeting with the PM, NSF advisor Achumbemo Kikon said, "We had a very good meeting with the prime minister and submitted our representation. He listened to us and assured us an early solution to the ongoing problem. He asked us to create a peaceful atmosphere for talks and resolve the issue."

"All our senior leaders of different students unions are meeting at Kohima. They shall be discussing about the developments and also the assurances given to us by the prime minister," he had said.

Kikon had said after the meeting with the PM that "the protest will be suspended temporarily if the Manipur government agrees to remove the commandos and address other issues".

The All Naga Students' Association (ANSAM) had launched the blockade to protest holding of elections to six autonomous district councils in the Hills which, it alleged, were given not enough power to carry out development works.

The blockade of the National Highway 39 (Imphal- Dimapur) and 53 (Imphal-Silchar), passing through Nagaland and connecting Manipur, was intensified after Manipur refused entry to NSCN-IM general secretary T Muivah on May 3 to visit his ancestral home there.

About 300-400 trucks carrying essentials ply daily on the two highways. The blockade has pushed Manipur on the verge of a breakdown with stocks of all essentials commodities, including baby food and life saving drugs, almost drying up.

The Naga students blamed Pillai and Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh for the present crisis.

"Singh is not concerned about the cause of the people. His government was on the verge of collapse. Hence, he manipulated the itinerary related to Muivah visit to motivate his people resulting in the blockade," Kikon claimed.

"We are also not happy with Union Home Secretary G K Pillai. He is triggering the words in favour of the Manipur government," he leader alleged.

The Naga leaders also met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj.

(With PTI inputs)


First Published: Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 10:35


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