UNC's economic blockade : Zeliang urged to ensure free movement of vehicles Rajnath Singh writes, chides Chief Minister Ibobi
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, December 24 2016:
Taking a serious note of the ongoing economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC) since November 1, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has written to Chief Minister O Ibobi as well as the Chief Minister of Nagaland TR Zeliang , to ensure that NH-2 is kept open.
Chiding the Chief Minister of Manipur for failing to ensure that essential items reach the common people of Manipur, Rajnath Singh said, " The State Government has failed to keep National Highway-2 open, in spite of the Government of India's repeated requests and making available Central forces to assist the local forces" .
The Union Home Minister reminded Chief Minister O Ibobi that law and order is a State subject under the 7th Schedule of the Constitution and added that the Centre can only assist the State Government in case such assistance is required and asked for.
Stating that the Ministry of Home Affairs has responded to the request for deployment of extra forces in Manipur to assist the State forces by providing 30 Coys, the Union Home Minister reminded the Chief Minister that when the State Government moved two convoys on National Highway 2 on December 2 (244 vehicles) and December 8 (314 vehicles), Central forces assisted the movement of the convoys which enabled some essential supplies to reach Manipur.
However, since then there has been no initiative from the State Government to either ensure that NH-2 is kept open or that at least movement of convoys is made, inspite of the availability of the additional forces and in spite of officers of MHA being in constant touch with the State officials, including the visit by Special Secretary (Internal Security) on December 14 and 15, asserted Rajnath Singh.
On December 19, a message was also sent to the DG of Manipur police that the Centre is fully committed to support the State Government in opening National Highway-2, added the Union Home Minister.
This was followed by telephonic calls, both by Special Secretary and the Joint Secretary, said the Union Home Minister and added that however there has been no response, or action, by the State Government.
Recalling the telephonic talks as well as when they met at New Delhi to ensure supply of essential commodities to Manipur through NH-2 by rationally using Central forces, as deemed necessary, Rajnath Singh said that maintaining law and order and ensuring supply of essential supplies to the people are Constitutional obligations of the State Government.
Urging O Ibobi Singh to display the will to do so, the Union Home Minister said that the High Court of Manipur too has issued an order which requires him to do so.
Reiterating the Centre's commitment to provide assistance in keeping NH-2 open, the Union Home Minister urged the Chief Minister to discharge the Constitutional obligations promptly for the sake of the people of Manipur.
The Union Home Minister has also written to the Chief Minister of Nagaland to ensure that there is no disturbance in the movement of vehicles, especially on the portion of NH-2 which passes through Nagaland.
Referring to the report that the Naga Students' Federation has imposed a blockade on Manipur bound vehicles, the Union Home Minister urged TR Zeliang to ensure that there is no disturbance to the movement of vehicles to enable supplies pass through Nagaland.