Naga group announces resumption of Manipur blockade



New Delhi: The United Naga Council announced Sunday it will be resume an economic blockade of Manipur for 20 days from Wednesday as the Central government had failed to meet its July 31 deadline to accept its four demands.

"The United Naga Council is compelled to resume the temporarily suspended economic blockade with effect from 6 a.m. of Aug 4, 2010 for 20 days, as the five days ultimatum submitted on July 27, 2010 to the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India has evoked no response till date," said a press release issued Sunday.

The demands included setting up a judicial enquiry into the May 6 incident at Mao Gate, where two people were killed more than 100 injured when Manipur Police opened fire on protesters and dissolution of the "undemocratically instituted" autonomous district councils.

It had also asked for "immediate withdrawal of the imposed section of 144 CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) and demilitarisation of the Naga areas by removal of the Indian Reserve Battalion and Manipur Police commandos".

The fourth demand sought the removal of "Wanted" tag and rewards imposed on the Naga leaders.

A 68-day day economic blockade, set up by three Naga groups, was finally lifted June 18 after the Central government's intervention.

The Naga groups had blocked highways into the state to protest against a Manipur government ban on separatist leader Thuingaleng Muivah from visiting his birthplace in Manipur, as well as the Mao Gate incident.

The blockade began April 11 and led to severe shortages of food, medicines and fuel, leading to soaring prices in Manipur.

IANS