New Delhi: The Centre on Friday appealed to the
agitating groups to withdraw the economic blockade of two
national highways passing through Manipur, saying their
demands were being looked into by the government.
Home Minister P Chidambaram said Manipur Chief Minister O
Ibobi Singh has constituted a district reorganisation
commission to look into the demands of the agitating groups.
"The chief minister has requested them to be patient
till the report of the commission comes. My appeal to both the
groups is to wait for the report to come and withdraw the
blockade," he told a press conference here.
The Sadar Hills District Demand Committee launched the
economic blockade on Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati NH 53 and the
Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar NH 39 since August 1 demanding
conversion of the Kuki-majority Sadar hills area in Naga-
majority Senapati district into a full-fledged district.
On the other hand, United Naga Committee, opposing the
Kukis` demand for granting district status to Sadar Hills,
launched a counter-economic blockade on the same two national
highways on August 21.
Asked about reports which suggested that market prices of
most commodities had soared in Manipur to an extent that
petrol was being sold in black markets at Rs 120 a litre, the
home minister admitted that "prices have pushed up" but said
the government has taken steps to bring essential commodities
in convoys of trucks and was bringing 1000-1100 trucks to
Manipur every week.
"These are sensitive issues which have to be resolved at
local level. The chief minister is taking steps... In the
northeast even creation of a district becomes sensitive...,"