Naga blockade: Manipur govt seeks additional central paramilitary forces

The United Naga Council has imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the Imphal-Dimapur (NH 2) and Imphal-Jiribam (NH 37) since Nov 1.

Imphal: The Manipur government has approached the Centre seeking additional paramilitary forces to open two key highways that connect the state to the rest of the country.

The state government approached the Centre after it was directed by the Manipur High Court to ensure that the lifelines of the state remain safe and free for vehicular traffic.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice Rakesh Ranjan Prasad, Justice N Koteswor and Justice K Nobin were responding to a petition filed by Imphal resident RK Joysana against the eceonomic blockade imposed by Nagas since November 1.

The United Naga Council has imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the Imphal-Dimapur (NH 2) and Imphal-Jiribam (NH 37) highways to protest the state government`s move to create two districts -- Jiribam and Sadar Hills.

The Nagas fear that the creation of the new districts was an attempt by the government to usurp their “lands”.

In an earlier order, the court on November 25 directed the Okram Ibobi Singh government to ensure the movement of vehicles along the two highways.

It directed the government to restore safe traffic along the NH 2, which passes through Nagaland, within five days.

The Nagas had earlier torched two trucks along the NH 2 and destroyed dozens of vehicles. The valley dwellers of Manipur in response torched a taxi in Khumbong near Imphal on Thursday.

People have been destroying various items, including consumer goods, which are being transported to the tribal areas.

Though the police have been bringing hundreds of trucks, oil tankers and other vehicles along the NH 37, the NH 2 has been impassable.

Shortly after the court`s order, the police and paramilitary personnel escorted many trucks stranded since November 2 at Mao, Manipur border region along the NH 2.

People have been facing shortages of commodities and most of the consumer items have vanished from the market.

Those items which are still available are sold at extortionate prices. Petrol is also strictly rationed.

With IANS inputs

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