Brinda Karat blames Centre for Manipur crisis
Demands immediate lifting of blockade

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 06 2010: Heavily coming down on the Central Government for the prevailing food crisis in Manipur, CPM member in Rajya Sabha, Brinda Karat has said that it was failure of the Central Government to bring the situation under control.

MP Brinda Karat's speech in the Rajya Sabha was made available to press here by Secretariat Member of CPM, Manipur State, Kshetrimayum Santa today.

Drawing the attention of the Rajya Sabha to the sufferings of the people of Manipur at present, MP Brinda Karat said in the Rajya Sabha yesterday that because of a totally illegal blockade which started on August 4 once again, but in fact, which has been enforced on NH 39 since April this year, the people of Manipur have been forced to live a miserable life.

On one hand, the Government of India is having talks with the NSCN-IM, but on the other hand, certain overground frontal organisations of the same Naga rebel group have been blocking the National Highways leading to Imphal, Manipur, and using coercion to get their points of view across.

She said, while not against the dialogue, she believed that the hill people of Manipur have some very genuine concerns which need to be properly addressed and a political solution has to be found.

But what is happening in Manipur, she asked and drew the attention of the Chairperson saying that today there are no oxygen cyliders in the hospital in Manipur.

One litre of petrol costs Rs 90 to 100 .

But unfortunately, the Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram gave a very partial picture in his statement.

She quoted the Union Home Minister as saying "the blockade was removed." In fact, the blockade has not actual been removed.

The MP said, she has information that for a truck that carries medical supplies, the illegal tax collected by the UNC or the NSCN-IM is Rs 13,000 a truck.

For a truck carrying cement, it is Rs 11,000.For a truck carrying soaps and detergents, it is Rs 6000, she said.MP Brinda Karat further quoted Chidambaram as saying, "I have ensured proper security for the oil carrying trucks and FCI food grains trucks" .

"Is that enought?" she said adding "This is part of our country.

That is a lifeline of Manipur.

There is another NH 53, but that is in a deplorable condition" .

She said, "Today hundreds of trucks are marooned there and the people of Manipur are having to pay very high prices.

The other day we had a discussion on price rise.

In Manipur, what are the prices, Sir? They are ten times the prices we are paying in Delhi because of non-availability of the essential commodities" .

She appealed and demanded as well to immediately ensure that the blockade is lifted by any means as early as possible, ensure availability of medical supplies to the people of Manipur and ensure a political resolution to the problems of the hill people within a united Manipur.