Even as a general strike in Manipur to demand the arrest of an NSCN(IM) cadre was called off, a counter blockade imposed by the Union Naga Council took a violent turn when two Imphal-bound trucks were torched within 10 minutes of the protest beginning at midnight on Wednesday night. The trucks, which were bringing rice from an FCI godown at Dimapur in Nagaland, were set ablaze with petrol in Senapati district. While one truck along with rice bags was completely gutted, fire in the other was doused by residents, averting serious damage.
The entire Manipur is hit by the 72-hour blockade in the “Naga areas.” For, transporters cannot bring anything to the land-locked State through National highways 39 and 53.
On Thursday, curfew was clamped in the valley districts of Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, the All Manipur United Clubs Organisation said though the six-day general strike was called off, other forms of agitation would continue until “Lt. Col” R.P. Livingstone of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) was arrested for allegedly molesting and beating up film artiste Momoko Nongmaithem in Chandel district on December 19.
The NSCN (IM), however, defends Livingstone, saying it was Momoko who provoked Nagas in Chandel, after which he beat her up. But she denies the charge.