Normal life was disrupted in Manipur since Sunday midnight. All inter-state vehicles including passenger buses and trucks were off the road. This is in response to the 48-hour general strike called by the United Naga Council, an apex body of the Naga tribals in Manipur, demanding “alternative arrangement” for them.
All trucks and buses coming from Assam and other NE states were stranded near Mao, Manipur's border along highway 2 and Jiribam, the originating town along highway 37. The vehicles bound for other states did not leave Imphal on Monday. However 107 trucks and oil tankers coming from Assam managed to reach Imphal on Sunday night with armed escorts.
The UNC says that there have had five rounds of talks on the issue. However despite an ultimatum served by it the Union government has not convened the sixth round of talks.
Soon after the expiry of the UNC general strike there is another general strike for 48 hours called by the Kuki Statehood Demand Committee. It is demanding creation of a new Kuki state to be carved out of Manipur. However some Naga groups have renewed their stand that the proposed state should not include any “land of the Nagas”. In Manipur the villages of the Nagas and the Kukis are located side by side.
The transportation of fuel and consumer items in Manipur will be disrupted for some more days. On August 15 eleven proscribed underground organisations in the NE region are calling a general strike. Manipur is limping back to normality after massive landslips on both highways, the lifelines of Manipur, with some trucks reaching Imphal with badly needed fuel and consumer items.
Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei also in charge of Home has appealed to call off the general strike since states cannot be created on the basis of tribes. But his appeal had obviously fallen on deaf ears. Prices of all commodities had been jacked up in Manipur.