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Naga blockade continues as talks fail to make headway

As the talks between the Home Ministry officials and the representatives of the United Naga Council (UNC) failed to make headway on Tuesday, the indefinite economic blockade against Manipur continues.

Though it was planned as tripartite talks, the Manipur government representatives did not participate. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh told The Hindu that the UNC did not respond to the government invitations and it appears it did not want “our participation.”

Meanwhile, a number of non-tribal and Kuki tribal organisations during a meeting on Tuesday urged Mr. Ibobi Singh to declare two new districts: Jiribam and Sadar Hills. They warned of agitations unless the UNC economic blockade imposed from November 1 was lifted. There are already counter blockades at various places and consumer items were not allowed to be taken to Naga-dominated areas.

All essential commodities have vanished from the market and petrol was available only in the black market at Rs. 300 or more a litre.

Paramilitary personnel on Monday escorted 299 trucks and oil tankers to Assam for lifting badly needed fuel and consumer items.

“Nearly 1,000 trucks and oil tankers stranded at various places in Assam, Nagaland and the border of Manipur shall be escorted to Imphal in a day or two,” the Chief Minister said.

Jiribam and Sadar Hills, sub-divisions of the Imphal east and Senapati districts have all the infrastructures of a district. “It is a matter of timing to make the official announcement,” he said .

But the UNC said that Sadar Hills could not be elevated to a full-fledged district. The Naga villages in the sub-division could not be included in the proposed district. It was an impossible demand since the Naga and the Kuki villages were located side by side in all the four hill districts of Manipur and a district could not be created in exclusion of the adjacent villages.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 10:53:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Naga-blockade-continues-as-talks-fail-to-make-headway/article16643801.ece

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