United Naga Council To End Economic Blockade In Manipur
The United Naga Council put up the blockade on November 1 after the Manipur government announced the formation of seven new districts, taking the total number of districts in the state to 16.
From the side of the state government, Additional Chief Secretary Dr Suresh Babu and Commissioner (Works) K Radhakumar are likely to take part in the proposed tripartite talks.
It was also agreed to "unconditionally release" the UNC president Gaidon Kamei and publicity secretary Sankhui Stephen from jail and "all the cases related to economic blockade against the Naga tribe leaders and student leaders will be closed". Naga people's Front (NPF), close to the UNC which supported the blockade, is a part of the BJP government.
Indefinite economic blockade in Manipur will be lifted from March 19 midnight. Holding talks in Senapati was one of the conditions of the Nagas, which was not accepted by the previous state government. "We had a fruitful negotiation", Joint Secretary, NE, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Satyendar Garg told media after the meeting at Senapati. The protesting Naga groups had cut off the two main highways depriving the state of essential commodities. 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.
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The blockade was imposed on November 1 in protest against the creation of seven new districts. Chief MinisterOkram Ibobi says this has been done for administrative convenience, and that creating a district is the prerogative of the government.
BJP had promised to lift the blockade as soon as it comes to power in Manipur.
"Talks shall continue at the political level", Milan said quoting from the agreement. Chief Minster Biren Singh said the lifting of the blockade was "just the beginning" and that his government was trying to fulfil the promises Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made to the people of the state.
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