Manipur blockade ends as Nagas-Govts meet halfway

Jat quota

The landlocked state has been experiencing severe hardship in supply of essential items since 1 November after United Naga Council (UNC) imposed an indefinite economic blockade on the two national highways that serve as lifeline for the state.

The statement was signed by joint secretary Satyendra Garg of the Union Home Ministry, additional chief secretary (Home) J Suresh Babu, commissioner (works) Radhakumar Singh of the Manipur government, UNC general secretary S Milan and All Naga Students Association president Seth Shatsang.

The UNC will also lift the blockade with immediate effect to create conducive environment for the democratic process of consultation and dialogue, sources said.

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As per the understanding, the state government will unconditionally release the arrested UNC President Gaidon Kamei and its Publicity Secretary Stephen besides closing all cases against the Naga tribal leaders and student leaders in connection with the blockade.

Supporters of Naga United Council (UNC) scuffle with security personnel during an agitation against Manipur government for creation of 7 new districts, in Senapati, Manipur.

The development assumes significance as the BJP-led Government in Manipur broke the impasse with the UNC just days after it assumed charge.

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The blockade had started on November 1 past year after former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh carved out seven new districts in the state.

The meeting was held at the behest of the Nongthombam Biren Singh government which had said that its first agenda after coming to power would be to end the prolonged economic blockade. But the UNC made it clear that the blockade would continue until the government held talks with it over its demands. She had also expressed concern at the picketing of government offices in all the Naga dominated areas in the hill districts and appealed to all concerned to discontinue such agitation in the interest of the people of the state so as to enable the government functionaries to discharge their responsibilities without any interruption.

Addressing a press meet at Classic Hotel here, the Chief Minister further assured to take steps for burial of those killed during violent protests in 2015.

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The next tripartite talks will be held in a month's time, officials said.


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