UNC to lift economic blockade in Manipur

Kristopher Drake
March 20, 2017

The United Naga Council (UNC) on Sunday has made a decision to end the 130-day long economic blockade against Manipur. The decision for lifting was resolved in a tripartite talk which involved United Naga Council, government of India and Manipur government.

The Manipur government was represented by Additional Chief Secretary Suresh Babu and Commissioner K. Radhakumar, central government by S. Garg, Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs in charge of North-East, while the UNC was represented by former President Paul Leo and leaders of the ANSAM and the NWU.

The two leaders of UNC - Gaidon Kamei, President and Stephen Lamkang, Information Secretary - who were arrested on November 25, will also be released.

A truck driver waits in queue on the highway for the blockade to be lifted on Sunday midnight.

The meeting was attended by 31 legislators besides BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The blockade had started on November 1 a year ago after former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh carved out seven new districts in the state. It added, "As the MoUs said that creation of new districts would not be done without consulting the stakeholders, the state government agreed to start consultation with all stakeholders to redress the same".

On Friday, the Government held its first Cabinet meeting and chose to take steps to lift the blockade and called the UNC for talks on Sunday afternoon.

BJP formed the government in Manipur and N Biren Singh took oath as chief minister on March 16. The protesting Naga groups had cut off the two main highways depriving the state of essential commodities. The UNC took offence, particularly to the creation of the districts of Jiribam and Kangpokpi. A day later, as per a party press note, the new government initiated the process to lift the blockade in a special meeting with cabinet ministers.

The tripartite meeting chose to create conductive environment for the democratic process of consultation and dialogue and next tripartite talks will be held within a month of time at political level, S Milan said.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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