Manipur blockade: Timeline

March 19, 2017 07:29 pm | Updated 07:51 pm IST

The creation of new districts has been a subject of ethnic strife in Manipur since 1971, when it was first proposed. Here, vehicles are seen burning after being set alight by protesters in Imphal.

The creation of new districts has been a subject of ethnic strife in Manipur since 1971, when it was first proposed. Here, vehicles are seen burning after being set alight by protesters in Imphal.

Indefinite curfew was imposed in Manipur’s Imphal East and West districts. Here’s all you need to know about the Manipur blockade.

November 1, 2016: United Naga Council (UNC) calls for an indefinite economic blockade, cutting off normal movement of trucks on National Highways 2 and 37 — lifelines that pass through Naga villages — or along the 100-km Imphal-Moreh Road on the Trans Asian Highway No 1.

November 15 , 2016 : The State government backs out of a meeting between the Centre, the Manipur government and the UNC. Home Ministry officials meet representatives of the UNC as planned but fail to break the impasse.

November 25 , 2016 : A total shutdown is called for by the UNC and other Naga organisations. Two top leaders of UNC, president Gaidon Kamei and information secretary Stephen Lamkang, arrested. On the other hand, ruling on a public interest litigation petition, the High Court of Manipur directes the State to provide adequate security to vehicles plying along the two national highways. Two other directives call for the deployment of paramilitary forces to ensure the free movement of the trucks.

December 8 , 2016 : The State Cabinet finalises the creation of seven new districts, with the nomenclature of Sadar Hills changed to Kangpokpi. Chief MinisterOkram Ibobi says this has been done for administrative convenience, and that creating a district is the prerogative of the government.

December 9 , 2016 : The State government issues a gazette notification stating the creation of seven new districts, taking the total number of districts to 16. The decision generates sharp reactions from the UNC; the other two communities living in the state – Meiteis and Kukis – accept the move.

December 15 , 2016 : Three police personnel killed and nine others seriously injured in two ambushes. The personnel killed were on their way to provide security for the inaugural function of the newly-formed Tengnoupal district.

December 20 , 2016 : The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) imposes total blockade on all Manipur-bound vehicles and passengers in all Naga inhabited areas.

December 23 , 2016 : Home Minister Rajnath Singh asks Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang to ensure that there is no disturbance in movement of vehicles passing through the state following reports of NSF’s blockade.

December 27 , 2016 : The NSF temporarily suspends its eight-day-long total blockade of all Manipur-bound vehicles with immediate effect, taking into consideration the assurance of the Manipur government and at the Centre’s request.

December 31 , 2016 : Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh makes an assurance that his government will not go back on its decision to create seven new districts.

January 1, 2017: Internet and messaging service were partly restored.

January 18, 2017: Take steps to remove blockade, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. The blockade of National Highway-2 caused severe difficulties to the people of Manipur, especially with regard to availability of essential commodities.

February 7, 2017: Tripartite talks to end the over three-month-long economic blockade of a crucial highway in Manipur failed to make any headway.

March 19, 2017: Tripartite talks among the Centre, Manipur government and the United Nagar Council (UNC) leaders ended on a positive note bringing the 139-day Manipur blockade over the creation of new districts to an end.

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