The recent move by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government has given a huge relief to the people of Manipur. The coalition government have achieved a significant breakthrough by convincing the United Naga Council to lift the four-month long economic blockade. This blockade was launched on the Imphal-Dimapur and Imphal-Silchar highways paralysing the life in Manipur.
On 31 October 2016, The United Naga Council (UNC) had launched an economic blockade affecting the business establishments, entertainment houses, shop markets. The educational institutes were closed, the petrol prices had risen to Rs 200 per litre and more.
After 139 days of the protest, the UNC has lifted the blockade launched against the creation of new districts by the former Congress Government.
Heavy Contention Between Manipur Government and United Naga Council (UNC)
There has been a heavy contention between the Manipur government and the United Naga Council (UNC). The UNC and the other Naga groups did not want the Naga villages to be a part of the state. They had been asking for excluding the Naga villages in Sardar Hills region while there are activists in Jiribam, a sub-division of Imphal East district, who were protesting against the government failure to create the new Jiribam district.
The UNC had imposed a blockade on the assumption that Sardar hills and Jiribam subdivisions will be upgraded into districts. With the passage of time, they had also intensified the blockade.
A trilateral meeting took place between the United Naga Council, the Central Government and the newly formed state government at the District Headquarters of Senapati, Manipur. This session was held one the behest of N.Biren Singh government which had promised to end the prolonged economic blockade after coming to power. The next meeting is also scheduled within this month.
An agreement was also released stating that the grievances of the United Naga Council which led to the blockade by them was recognised as the non-adherence to the four Memorandum of Understanding and the Centre’s assurance on the matter.
After the meeting, it was decided that the new districts would not be done without any consultation with the stakeholders. To create a conducive environment for the democratic process of the consultation and the dialogue, the UNC had lifted the blockade on Sunday Night. The announcement was met with loud cheers, jubilation and bursting of crackers.
The Logical Indian report on the United Naga Council blockade can be read here.
After 139 days of heavy contention between the United Naga Council and the Manipur Government, the blockade has been lifted up relieving the people in Manipur. It is a good move taken by the State and the Central Government, though the matter could have been addressed earlier which shows the lack of priority agenda in the government. The life in Manipur had become stagnant with petrol reaching up to Rs 200 per litre, educational institutes shut and the business affected. The loss of all the distinct entities is a major setback for them and the Manipur Government.
The Logical Indian requests the State Government to not to procrastinate such important decisions which affect the normal life of people.