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Naga students` group lifts blockade

The blockade of a key national highway linking Manipur to rest of the country was today lifted by Naga Students` Federation and a few vehicles waiting on Assam side left for the neighbouring state.



Kohima: The blockade of a key national
highway linking Manipur to rest of the country was today
lifted by Naga Students` Federation and a few vehicles waiting
on Assam side left for the neighbouring state.

The Centre is all set to resume supply of essential items
to Manipur on Friday through a convoy of trucks under tight
security along National Highway which has been blocked by Naga
groups for the last two months.

The Dimapur police said only four to five vehicles
waiting on Assam side of inter-state border left in the
evening towards Manipur after the blockade by NSF was
withdrawn this evening.

The sources, however, said it could not be confirmed
whether the vehicles could enter Manipur or were stranded
inside Nagaland since confusion prevailed whether the All Naga
Manipur Students Association (ANSAM) had withdrawn the
blockade on their side or not.

The police here expected the movement of vehicles to
Manipur to pick up in the next few days.

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

The blockade of 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.

During normal times, Manipur-bound trucks were allowed
to run on Nagaland sector of NH 39 only after 18:00 hours due
to security reasons with the state police providing security
up to Nagaland-Manipur border.

The temporary suspension of the blockade on NH 39
(Dimapur-Imphal) with effect from 6:00 pm this evening was
announced yesterday after a delegation of Naga Students?
Federation (NSF) had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New
Delhi.

The economic 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.

Meanwhile, official sources said in New Delhi that
efforts are on to persuade agitating Naga groups to withdraw
the blockade on NH 39 which passes through Nagaland.

"But if they don`t withdraw the blockade, we will move a
convoy of goods trucks on Friday with tight security," an
official said.

Union Home Secretary G K Pillai had said yesterday that
the Centre has decided to send more security forces to remove
the blockade of the national highways that form the vital
supply line to Manipur.

Chief secretaries of Nagaland and Manipur will meet here
on Wednesday to review the situation there.

-PTI

From Zee News

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