United Naga Council to continue life-constricting blockade
"We have decided to intensify the blockade and our ban on the construction of national projects and picketing of government offices in Naga areas,� UNC general secretary Milan Shimray said on Saturday
United Naga Council has called for intensifying the ongoing economic blockade on two national highways, ending speculations that UNC may relax the more than two-month long embargo in view of the Manipur Assembly elections to be held in the first week of March.
UNC hinted at continuing blockade even after elections are over. “The UNC today (Saturday) met the leaders of 16 Naga tribes of Manipur. The meeting endorsed all recommendations and decisions of an earlier meeting of the Nagas. We have decided to intensify the blockade and our ban on the construction of national projects and picketing of government offices in Naga areas,” UNC general secretary Milan Shimray was quoted as saying to Indian Express.
UNC, the apex body of the Nagas has begun their blockade to resist the ruling Congress government’s plan to create seven more districts in Manipur, accusing the government of not discussing the matter with the Nagas. Reacting to the blockade, government has started providing security to trucks coming from Nagaland and Assam.
“Elections are not our priority. Our priority is to protect and safeguard our ancestral homeland. Nobody should impose any decision on the land of our forefathers,” Milan said, urging the government to honour the promises made to the UNC leaders earlier. He alleged that their agitation is only against the state government and not against any section in particular.
" In November last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs had convened a tripartite meeting but the Manipur government didn’t send its representative. It shows Ibobi (Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh) wanted the situation to go on. He never wants peace,” Milan added.