A few thousands of drivers and passengers have been stranded at border areas of Manipur since Tuesday midnight as a result of the 48 hour blockade imposed on the two highways by United Naga Council. They are protesting against the inordinate delay in the finding out of an "alternative arrangement" for the Nagas in Manipur. It has been saying that the Nagas in Manipur no longer want to stay under the "communal Manipur government". The passengers are starving since all shops and hotels are closed. Besides, people who need constant medication are facing problems as no medicines are available in the hill stations.

Though the blockade ended on Thursday midnight, a banned underground organisation, Maoist Communist Party, had imposed a general strike at the same time. It is demanding protection of Manipur's territory. It has been made out that a large chunk of Manipur's territory will be usurped once the border fence along Myanmar is constructed.

Official sources said that it has not been possible to provide armed escorts to hundreds of trucks and buses now stranded on the border towns of Mao and Moreh since all available state forces are pressed into service to the ten day tourism festival held from Thursday in Imphal. Foreign dignitaries and tourists are participating in the festival.

Meanwhile security measures have been beefed up in and around Imphal since the Maoist Communist Party announced that there would be bomb attacks and warned the people against venturing out during the 48 hour general strike. Officials said that police are taking up steps to ensure that nothing untoward happens while the foreigners are in Imphal.