United Naga Council agrees to lift economic blockade of Manipur

Trevor Jackson
March 20, 2017

The Centre had made appeal too before elections in Manipur, at least three meetings were held in this regard, but there was no outcome.The United Naga Council (UNC) on March 16, had rejected Manipur's new Chief Minister N. Biren Singh's appeal to end the economic blockade of the state. The decision for lifting was resolved in a tripartite talk which involved United Naga Council, government of India and Manipur government.

In a joint statement, additional chief secretary J. Suresh Babu and UNC general secretary S. Milan said: "The grievances of the UNC that led to the imposition of the economic blockade was recognised at the meeting".

He said another reason was to create a conducive environment for the democratic process of consultations and dialogues. Apart from imposing economic blockade, the UNC has also banned national projects in Naga-dominated areas and demanded revocation of the order issued by the previous State Government for creation of nine districts.

Police had in past arrested UNC leader Gaidon Kamei in connection with economic blockade.Blockade was an issue in recently held assembly polls with congress blaming the UNC and BJP and NSCN-IM for being in hand in glove and persisting with economic blockade.

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This followed an agreement reached during talks involving the Naga group and representatives of the central and Manipur governments. The blockade was imposed by the UNC on November 1 soon after former Congress Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh declared the formation of two new districts - Jiribam and Kanpokpi. The BJP had assured that economic blockade would be lifted if they came to power.

The Congress government chose to create seven new districts in October a year ago.

The UNC had opposed the bifurcation of Sadar Hills districts. The UNC had blocked two national highways that connect the state to rest of India leading to a shortage of communities.

The tripartite meeting chose to create conductive environment for the democratic process of consultation and dialogue and next tripartite talks will be held within a month of time at political level, S Milan said.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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