TODAY -

JAC-AATB questions counter blockade rationale
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 20 2016: The Joint Action Committee Against Anti Tribal Bills (JAC-AATB) has questioned the rationale behind the counter economic blockade enforced on the goods vehicles bound for Churachandpur district which is the only district that does not fall under the jurisdiction of the United Naga Council (UNC) .

The JAC-AATB said it will not remain mute from November 21 if the counter blockade on Churachandpur bound vehicles are still enforced in the valley area.

"The Manipur Government's 'assurance' to grant full-fledged district status to Sadar Hills and Jiribam sub-division that met with a stern opposition from the United Naga Council (UNC) more than a fortnight ago in the form of an economic blockade continues unabated," the JAC-AATB said, adding, "Although the blockade was imposed by the UNC in all Naga dominated districts, there have been repeated incidents of counter blockades by the dominant valley-dwelling community on vehicles ferrying goods to all the tribal districts including Chura-chandpur district, the only tribal hill district not covered by the UNC's economic blockade" .

In a press release, the JAC-AATB said that it "failed to comprehend the move of the dominant valley community", and believed that such counter economic blockade only "brings to the fore the deep divide and irreconcilable differences between the indigenous hill tribes of present Manipur and the dominant valley-dwelling community" .

The JACAATB said it will not remain a mere spectator to such "communally motivated activities of the valley dwellers solely aimed at bringing hardships to the tribal people of Churachandpur district.

"Any further reports of counter blockade on all vehicles carrying goods to Churachandpur district shall result in a much more severe blockade on all vehicles carrying goods from Churachandpur district to Manipur valley from November 21", it cautioned.

UNC started the stir from October 30 midnight over the proposed creation of two new districts of Sadar Hills and Jiribam following which the Manipur Government aborted the plan.

Meanwhile, United Committee Manipur (UCM) president Elangbam Johnson told a local TV channel that "the Government should resign rather than being a double-edged sword".

Johnson said that the Government should have a clear understanding of the prevailing issue rather than contemplating on political compulsion.

He then criticized the UNC for indulging in blockade over "trivial issues" on several occasions.

Johnson was perturbed at the silence maintained by the Govt over the blockade and condemned it for "inaction despite the Manipur High Court's direction issued in 2015" .

The Govnt needs to take immediate action now and stop giving assurances, he added.


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