November 11th, 2016
Where on one side most of the citizens are complaining about demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs1000 notes, they remain unaware of the grave crisis hovering in the state of Manipur. Life in Manipur has been paralysed as all the supply of essentials have stopped due to the blockade launched by United Naga Council (UNC) since October 31,2016. 150 loaded oil tankers have been stranded at Khatkhati in Assam since the drivers cannot enter Manipur. 1800 trucks loaded with goods and oil tankers have been stranded beyond Manipur’s border at Mao Gate. All business establishments, shops markets and entertainment houses have been affected due to this blockade.
There has been a heavy contention between United Naga Council (UNC), an organization of the Nagas in Manipur and the Manipur government. The UNC and the other Naga groups don’t want the Naga villages to be a part of the state and want to stay excluded. They have been saying that there are several Naga villages in Sardar hills region and these should be excluded from the state while there are activists in Jiribam, a sub division of Imphal east district, who are protesting against the government failure to create the new Jiribam district. The UNC has imposed a blockade on the assumption that Sardar hills and Jiribam sub divisions will be upgraded into districts. They have also announced that they will intensify the blockade as Manipur government may fulfill the demands of people for upgrading the two sub divisions into full fledged districts. The state police have been unable to bring the stranded trucks and oil tankers into the state in view of the “shortage of parliamentary personnel” to provide escort.
How life in Manipur has been affected
The supply of all the essentials has gravely affected life in Manipur. All the oil deposits have been closed . The petrol rate has risen to Rs200 per litre. Plying of all commercial vehicles, including school vehicles has also been stopped. The educational institutions remained closed. The supply of LPG has also stopped and LPF is now being sold at Rs 2000 in the black market. 200 oil tankers and hundreds of trucks carrying essentials were stranded on the national highways. The drivers are spending their days without any help on the national highways in Assam. Many of the drivers have called out to their families to help them as they have run out of money and they can not return home while abandoning the loaded trucks. There has been no official intervention to check this profiteering and exploitation .