State braces for highway blockade

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IMPHAL, January 31: Amidst the building pressure on the public following simultaneous blockades imposed along the national highways including an indefinite blockade imposed by the ANSAM and KSO, and a four-day long chakka bandh/blockade by the JAC Against the Anti-tribal Bills from February 1, the United Naga Council (UNC) has also imposed another 48 hour bandh from midnight of February 4 in all the hill districts of Manipur.

As a result of the proposed blockades and bandh particularly the proposed indefinite highway bandh of the two student’s bodies, most of the petrol pumps in the capital have closed down resulting in panic buying among the consumers.

The general public especially transporters like van services, passengers services etc, were seen queueing up in some of the petrol pumps which were still open today.

It may be recalled that JAC Against the Anti-tribal Bills supported by other tribal bodies including the United Naga Council had announced to imposed a 5-day total chakka bandh/blockade on all highways passing through the tribal territories of the State as well as all national projects starting from February 1.

The announcement was made on January 14 following the failure of the Manipur government regarding the issues relating to the “three anti-tribal bills”, and the State cabinet’s admittance on December 29, 2015 in front of the JAC delegation team that the three bills are agenda of the CorCom.

Subsequently, on January 29 the Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO GHQ) and the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) have in a joint statement warned to launch an indefinite highway bandh from midnight of February 1 in view of the failure from the government of Manipur to fulfilled their demands.

Amidst this panic, the United Naga Council (UNC) has announced to call 48 hours bandh from midnight of February 4 in all hill districts of Manipur in continuation to its previous demands and democratic movement.

Newmai Adds: The UNC said any movement and attempts to sabotage the final political settlement based on `unique history of the Nagas and its situation` will never be compromised under any circumstances.

It also said religious program, earthquake related activities, medical, electricity, water supply and media fraternity are exempted from the purview of 48 hours of total bandh.

The UNC then appealed all the general public to extend fullest support and co-operation to the 48 hours of general strike to “defend and protect our inalienable rights and any one found defying the general strike shall be at his own risk”.

According to the UNC, the Nagas and tribal people in the present state of Manipur were self-governed and self administered people.

It also said a dual system of Administration for the hills and valley came into existence after the British annexed the Meitei kingdom in 1881.

“The people of different origin and history cannot live together under force union. The approach for peaceful co-existence is exhausted and therefore the best way for the Nagas and the tribals is to part and live as a good neighbors so that Nagas and tribal people can live with dignity and honor as a people and a nation,” it added.

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