Manipur blockade ends as Nagas-Govts meet halfway

Manipur blockade ends as Nagas-Govts meet halfway

In a big boost for the Manipur government, the United Naga Council has agreed to lift its economic blockade.

Talks were held between the Centre, UNC leaders and the Manipur government today at Senapati district.

"The Manipur government had made a decision to unconditionally release the arrested UNC leaders and all cases against the leaders of Naga tribes and student organisations will be closed", Shimray added.

The BJP had assured the people that if it formed the government, the blockade would be lifted within 48 hours.

The central government "recognised" the grievances of UNC "as there was non-adherence to the four Memoranda of Understanding" signed between the state government and also with the centre with the Naga civil society organisations as per which all stakeholders would be consulted before creating a new district in the Naga inhabited areas.

The economic blockade in Manipur will be lifted on 20 March, reports on Sunday said. The blockade on two national highways - NH-2 and NH-37 - has led to steep rise in prices of essential commodities and severely affected the normal life in the state. The blockade was imposed on November 1, causing widespread shortages in Manipur.

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Newly sworn-in Manipur chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh with Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal being felicitated in Imphal on Wednesday.

January 18, 2017: Take steps to remove blockade, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.

The UNC, Tangkhul Naga Long and other Naga bodies have been saying that the creation of seven districts comprising the "land of the Nagas left by our forefathers" is unacceptable.

"There will be a scene of the most unwanted violence in case the new BJP Government initiates any measure or decision to rollback the newly created Kangpokpi district", warned a prominent leader from Kangpokpi.

The joint statement said the next round of tripartite talks would be held within a month at political level.

The Manipur government was represented by Additional Chief Secretary Suresh Babu and Commissioner K. Radhakumar, central government by S. Garg, Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs in charge of North-East, while the UNC was represented by former President Paul Leo and leaders of the ANSAM and the NWU.

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