Other States

Centre raps Manipur for not ending blockade

Boiling over : Pedestrians walk past temporary roadblocks on the outskirts of Imphal on Tuesday. The UNC has imposed an economic blockade on Manipur since Nov. 1.   | Photo Credit: AFP

The Union government on Thursday pulled up the Manipur government for its failure to resolve the continuous blockade of the National Highway-2 by certain groups, which has led to an acute shortage of essentials in the State and a “breakdown of public order.”

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh sent a letter to Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and asked him to “discharge the constitutional obligations with utmost promptness” as “maintaining law and order and essential supplies is the State’s responsibility.”

Ethnic tensions

Manipur is reeling under ethnic tensions after the call for an economic blockade by the United Naga Council (UNC) to protest against the creation of seven new districts by the State government.

The UNC sees the move as an attempt to truncate the concept of a greater Nagalim.

The blockade entered its 52nd day on Thursday.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told The Hindu that the Chief Minister was trying to create difficulties in the area.

“The primary responsibility lies with the State government and the Centre is not running away from its duties. The Chief Minister should not try to create such a situation that leads to difficult atmosphere in the whole area. We will be sending someone to Manipur to resolve the issue. I might also go there,” said Mr. Rijiju.

Asked if the Centre would intervene by speaking to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), with which it signed a framework agreement in 2015 to find a solution to the decades-old Naga issue, Mr. Rijiju said, “it’s their internal matter.”

After decades of violence, the NSCN-IM entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Centre in 1997. The largest group representing the Nagas has sought a “Greater Nagalim” or contiguous land for the Nagas spanning the States of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

In his letter, the Home Minister told the Chief Minister that the “State government has failed to keep the National Highway-2 open, despite the Government of India’s repeated requests and making available Central police forces to assist the local police.”

 


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 12:22:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Centre-raps-Manipur-for-not-ending-blockade/article16927837.ece

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