Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Bandh supporters torch police vehicles

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Total blockade paralysis life in Manipur

Imphal: Supporters of ‘Hill district bandh’, which began on Thursday midnight, set ablaze three vehicles including a police van in interior Tamenglong district of Manipur, official reports said on Saturday.

Reports said two small size trucks which were coming from border town of Jiribam with essential items along National Highway-53 (Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar) were set on fire at Noney area, about 72 km west of here, on Friday.

Reports said police forces rushed to the spot and opened fire to disperse the mob that set afire a police van of Noney police station.

United Naga Council (UNC), supported by All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM), had called the bandh to protest against the signing of an agreement between state government and representatives of Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) on November 1.

Under the agreement, state government would upgrade Kuki-majority Sadar Hills area in Naga-majority Senapati district to a full-fledged revenue district after getting the report of the District Reorganisation Committee (DRC) headed by Chief Secretary, D S Poonia, official sources said.

On the other hand, the economic blockade launched by UNC along two national highways (Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati NH39) and (Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar NH53) entered the 76th day on Saturday, sources said adding that UNC had launched economic blockade since August 21 last to protest the demand of the SHDDC. To press for their demand, SHDDC had launched economic blockade on the two highways for 93 days which ended on November 1 night after signing of an agreement with the government, sources said.

The blockade, which began Thursday night, has badly affected life. Naga leaders say this is to protest the Manipur government’s agreement with leaders of the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC).

“Shops, banks, offices and educational institutions were shut while vehicular traffic remained off the road in Naga tribal dominated areas, specially in northern and western Manipur, due to the stir,” a government official told reporters here Friday. “Life was crippled in the hilly regions. No untoward incident has been reported yet from anywhere in the mountainous areas adjacent to Nagaland and Assam,” the official added.

Accompanied by the chief minister, Chidambaram during his two-day trip that ended Thursday, visited different parts of Manipur. He appealed to Naga groups to call-off their agitation and sit with the government to resolve their demands.

“There is no problem which could not be solved through dialogue,” Chidambaram said at the gatherings held in Tamenglong and Senapati districts

A joint statement issued by the United Naga Council (UNC) and the All-Naga Students’ Association in Manipur (ANSAM) said: “The state government’s handling of the issue of formation of a new district is condemnable.”

“The Manipur government had signed an agreement with leaders of the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) Monday midnight without consensus. The accord is in complete violation of the agreement the government had reached with the Naga bodies earlier,” the statement said. (Agencies)

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