UNC extends eco-blockade by another 25 more days
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 23 2010: Just a day after launching a verbal assault on Union Home Minister P Chidambaram over his statement in Parliament that there is no question of breaking up the territory of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to accomodate the Greater Lim demand, the United Naga Council ( UNC) has decided to extend its 20 days economic blockade by another 25 days with immediate effect.

The 20 days economic blockade came into force on August 4 and was supposed to expire on August 24 at 6 am, but the extension by another 25 days means the drama on the National Highways is far from over.

The UNC's announcement comes at a time when Manipur is gradually recovering from shortage of essential commodities due to the earlier 68 days economic blockade.

Supply of goods through NH-39 had resumed under security escorts provided by the CRPF, at the instructions of Delhi.

Blockade on NH-39-File

UNC, the apex body of the Nagas in Manipur, took the decision following a meeting held in Senapati district on Saturday, a member from the publicity wing of the UNC informed this reporter over phone today evening.

"Since the Centre has declined to entertain our demands, we have taken the decision to extend the economic blockade on the National Highways by another 25 days," he said.

One of the major demands put to the Centre included removal of wanted tags and fixing rewards on Naga leaders including UNC president Samson Remei by the State Government.

The president of the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur David Chorro is also under similar conditions.

Other demands included institution of a Judicial Inquiry into the Mao gate on May 6 in which two Naga students were killed while a number of protestors, including women were injured.

The UNC also demanded the dissolution of the "undemocratically instituted" Autonomous District Councils in the hills.

"The Naga People's Convention, the highest decision making platform of the Nagas in Manipur, held on July 1, had declared the severance of all political ties with the State Government and to seek the intervention of the Centre for an alternative arrangements for the Nagas in Manipur State," a UNC leader said.

During the 20 days, the Centre did not comply with the 'justified demands' for which the UNC has no alternative but to continue with the economic blockade on the National Highways, he justified.

A few days back suspected Naga agitators burnt two loaded trucks near Tupul on NH-53 ( Imphal-Jiribam route) and stoned various vehicles in Senapati district on NH-39 forcing the security forces to remain on high alert along the key supply routes of Manipur.

Earlier the All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM) , had imposed a 68 day long blockade on the same which was suspended on June 18 .