Economic blockade not directed against any community: JAC

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IMPHAL, Jun 17: Asserting that the 10-day economic blockade called by the Joint Action Committee against Anti-Tribal Bills (JAC) and Outer Manipur Tribals’ Forum (OMTF) is directed at the Manipur Govt’s ‘anti-tribal’ policies and its ‘indifferent attitude’ towards the plight of the tribal people and it is not focused against any community, the Joint Action Committee against Anti-Tribal Bills (JAC) strongly condemned the reported high handedness and communal acts of the valley people for allegedly harassing tribal travellers/commuters travelling through valley areas.
In a statement, the JAC said that with the nine tribal ‘martyrs’ still awaiting justice and an honourable burial and the Manipur Govt yet to show any genuine concern and desire to arrive at a sustainable and acceptable solution for the tribal people of Manipur, the JAC and the OMTF had imposed a 10-day blockade on all highways passing though tribal territories as well as halting of all ongoing national projects in these territories.
However, there have been mounting reports of prejudiced physical harassment meted out to the tribal travellers/commuters travelling through valley area with the clear intention of suppressing the collective democratic voice of the tribal people and doing all they can to paint a very communal colour to the ongoing blockade, it said.
Condemning the alleged high handedness and communal acts of the valley people that clearly expose the true mindset of the dominant community as well as their attitude towards the tribals, the JAC said that the tribal people should give a befitting reply if such communal acts continue.
With the alleged communal and unwarranted reac- tions from the valley people, the JAC appealed to all tribal travelling or passing through valley area to kindly be doubly cautious and take all possible precautionary measures.
Meanwhile, taking serious note of pulling down and seizing items from non-commercial and private vehicles, the Naga People’s Organization (NPO) has demanded immediate withdrawal of such inhuman activities along the NH-2 route. While respecting other’s sentiments and demo- cratic agitation to address their own issues, the NPO resented over the unwanted counter blockade activities which have undermined its efforts to allow transportation of personal items or local products to Imphal areas in buses or private vehicles. Coming out strongly against the incidents, the NPO warned that it will be compelled to launch similar line of action if humanitarian and public welfare issues are disturbed.
Based on series of complaints and concerns expressed by innocent citizens travelling between Imphal-Senapati routes, the activities of valley based organization counter-blockade has tested the patience and limitation beyond human tolerance, stated the information and publicity wing of NPO.
Personal items including small quantity of fruits, vegetables, kitchen wares and others were seized at different points in Imphal areas, it alleged.
It has also informed those responsible to immediately withdraw such excessive form of harassing the public along the highway by indulging into seizing personal items, medical items and non-commercial items. The apex body warned that if the general public continues to be harassed and humanitarian issues compromised, it will be compelled to react effectively for which those involved will be held responsible for any consequences.

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