Manipur blockade: Centre wakes up, 4,000 paramilitary personnel to end siege
The paramilitary forces were sent over the last week, Home Ministry officials said. The UNC has imposed the economic blockade on Imphal-Dimapur NH-2 (the old NH-39) and the Imphal-Jiribam NH 37 which are the lifelines for landlocked Manipur
The Union government has finally sent in 4,000 paramilitary personnel to lift the blockade of Manipur which has been in force since November 1 when the United Naga Council (UNC) blocked the state’s two highways in protest against the Ibobi Singh government’s decision to create new districts.
The paramilitary forces were sent over the last week, Home Ministry officials said. The UNC has imposed the economic blockade on Imphal-Dimapur NH-2 (the old NH-39) and the Imphal-Jiribam NH 37 which are the lifelines for landlocked Manipur. Reports said the curfew in Imphal East district was clamped indefinitely on Sunday last after a mob torched and vandalised 22 passenger vehicles on the Imphal-Ukhrul road, while curfew in Imphal West district was imposed from evening to dawn.
Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang has sought the intervention of both the Centre and Manipur government in securing the lives and property of Naga people in the Imphal valley. Zeliang wrote to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Manipur CM Ibobi Singh yesterday and claimed that Nagas stranded in Imphal were prevented from proceeding to their respective villages in the hills after threats to their lives by some valley-based groups.
Earlier this month, the state government put out a gazette notification dividing 7 districts of the state’s existing 9. Of these, the most affected are the 5 hill districts; 4 of which are dominated by the Naga tribes. These hill districts are: Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong, Chandel and Churachandpur; the last is dominated by the Kuki and other tribes.
Imphal East and Imphal West districts come under the 4 plain districts which are dominated by the Meitei.
The security personnel were sent to the Northeastern state keeping in view the security situation in the state in the wake of violence following the economic blockade imposed by the Union Naga Council on two National Highways since November 1.