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Naga groups extend blockade in Manipur

The 20-day blockade against Manipur, which was to end at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, has been extended by the United Naga Council (UNC) by 25 days. The UNC, the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (Ansam) and some other Naga groups had imposed the blockade protesting against the elections for the tribal district councils.

Earlier, on the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohon Singh, the 68-day-long blockade was suspended.

The blockade was re-imposed after a gap of 40 days, on the ground that the Union government had not addressed the grievances of the Naga tribals in Manipur.

On July 1, the Naga tribals took a public resolve not to talk to the Manipur government.

The UNC wants the Centre to address all Naga-related issues. When a Ministerial team visited Senapati district to hold negotiations with the UNC leaders, there was a local strike and the Naga leaders refused to meet them.

The UNC and the Ansam are demanding a judicial inquiry into the May 6 firing at Mao Gate, in which 2 tribal students were shot dead, withdrawal of the prohibitory orders and State forces from the “Naga areas.”

The presidents of the UNC and the Ansam, David Chara and Samson Remei, have been declared “wanted” by the High Court for imposing the blockade. A cash reward of Rs. 1,00,000 has been announced for their arrest or any information leading to their capture. The Naga bodies want the arrest warrant scrapped.

They declined to attend meetings convened by the government, saying that these were ploys to arrest the presidents. The tribal bodies are also demanding the dissolution of the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs), whose elections were held amid boycott calls by the Naga bodies.

Union Home Minister P. Chidamabaram informed Parliament that efforts are on to hammer out a solution by holding talks with the Naga groups. However, Naga bodies have taken umbrage at his statement that the territorial integrity of Manipur will not be compromised.

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Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 6:00:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Naga-groups-extend-blockade-in-Manipur/article16143610.ece

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