Manipur will go to polls in the first week of March under the shadow of ongoing economic blockade.
Manipur’s apex social organization of the Nagas, United Naga Council (UNC), on Saturday decided to “intensify” the blockade, enforced on two national highways – lifelines of the State – since November 1.
“The UNC today (Saturday) met the leaders of 16 Naga tribes of Manipur. The meeting endorsed all recommendations and decisions of an earlier meeting of the Nagas. We have decided to intensify the
blockade and our ban on the construction of national projects and picketing of government offices in Naga
areas,” UNC general secretary Milan Shimray told Express.
There was a perception the UNC could lift the blockade in view of the polls. But Milan categorically said the blockade would continue till elections and beyond.
“Elections are not our priority. Our priority is to protect and safeguard our ancestral homeland. Nobody should impose any decision on the land of our forefathers,” he asserted.
“Our agitation is not against any people. It is against the Manipur government for not upholding and honouring past assurances about our land. In November last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs had convened a tripartite meeting but the Manipur government didn’t send its representative. It shows Ibobi (Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh) wanted the situation to go on. He never wants peace,” Milan alleged.
The UNC enforced the blockade in protest against Ibobi-led Congress government’s decision to create seven more districts without consulting the Nagas. Recently, the State government started providing security to bring the stranded goods-laden vehicles from Nagaland and Assam.
Source: The New Indain Express