With no let-up in the over month-long economic blockades on two national highways, one of its sponsors today began sit-in protests in Sadar Hills area in Manipur’s Senapati district.

The sit-in protests as well as hunger-strikes were reported from the villages of Saikul, Gaipifang, Keithelmanbi, Saparmeina, Kangpokpi, Henbung and Laikot, officials said.

The Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) is demanding the conversion of Kuki-majority Sadar Hills area in Naga-majority Senapati district into a full-fledged revenue district.

SHDDC has launched an indefinite economic blockade since August 1 on the Manipur portions of Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati (NH-39) and Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar (NH-53), while United Naga Council (UNC) also launched a counter blockade from the middle of August against it.

The officials said the state cabinet has met many times in the past three or four weeks but a final decision on Sadar Hills issue could not be taken.

The cabinet had also earlier decided on several occasions to intensify deployment of forces along the national highways and increase the strength of the security personnel escorting trucks for collecting essential items.

A report from Jiribam border town, about 222 km from here, said over 700 empty trucks and oil tankers, which left Imphal for collection of essential items, arrived at the border town late last evening.

Trucks bring essential items twice or thrice a week from Jiribam or from Dimapur with security escort following the economic blockades which has resulted in the scarcity of those items.