Imphal: The crippling economic blockade on
two national highways in Manipur entered the 86th day on Tuesday with the organisers adamant on not lifting it even as prices
of essential commodities continued to soar.
The Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) had
started its indefinite economic blockades on the National
Highway 39 (Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati) and National Highway 53
(Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar) on August 1.
The SHDDC has demanded conversion of the Sadar Hills area
in Senapati district into a full fledged district.
Opposing this, the United Naga Council (UNC) began its
economic blockades on the two highways on August 21.
Both the SHDDC and the UNC have turned a deaf ear to
appeals by civil society organisations to call off the
blockades and take up a democratic form of agitation.
A spokesman of the SHDDC said the blockade would not be
withdrawn till its demand was met by the state government.
On the other hand, the UNC said that it would not allow
Sadar Hills to be made a district unless its contention was
heard by the government.
Official sources said the state government has formed
a district re-organisation committee to look into boundaries
of all districts.
Manipur Sports minister N Biren, who is a government
spokesman, said prices of potato and onion have come down.
However, LPG cylinders priced at Rs 400 were being sold
at Rs 1650, petrol at Rs 100 and diesel at around Rs 80
in the black market, reports said.
It said the government was trying its best to bring in
these items from outside the state with security escort.
Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, who is in Delhi, has met
senior AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Home Minister P
Chidambaram and apprised them of the situation, official
The sources said the state cabinet met more than four
times to discuss the Sadar Hills issue, but could not take a
decision since many ethnic communities were settled in the
They said the Sadar Hills area in Senapati district had
been witness to clashes between Kukis and Nagas in the