Over 80 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on Thursday reached Manipur to clear the two-month-old economic blockade by Naga students on two national highways in the State which has led to a critical shortage of essential supplies.
The contingent of 88 CRPF personnel drove straight to the CRPF headquarters at Langjing, about 10 km from here, after reaching from Delhi, official sources said.
The deployment of central forces on the National Highway 39 (Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati) and 53 (Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar) was decided at a meeting Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai held with the Manipur Chief Secretary and two Additional Chief Secretaries of Nagaland in Delhi on June 16.
Prices of essential commodities have sky rocketed due to the blockade by All Naga Students Union Manipur (ANSAM), which has affected both the valley and the hills.
The ANSAM’s blockade since early April was in protest against the holding of elections to autonomous district councils in the hills.
It was intensified after the Manipur government opposed the visit of NSCN-IM general secretary T. Muivah to his ancestral village, Somdal, in Ukrul district early last month.
In Kohima, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said his government would provide security on the State’s sector of the NH 39 if truckers felt insecure in running their vehicles even after the ‘temporary suspension’ of the economic blockade by the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF).
Maintaining that truckers should have faith in his government, Mr. Rio told newsmen at the Dimapur airport after arriving from Delhi that the police have been providing security escort even during normal times.
If the truckers felt that security should be increased, the State government was ready to do so, he said.
Meanwhile, police here said no truck either from Manipur or Assam entered Nagaland for the past two days even though the NSF has ‘temporarily lifted’ the economic blockade.