In a communication, the Union home ministry conveyed to the Manipur government to “re-arrange and utilise” the 175 companies of paramilitary forces which were already made available to the state to ensure removal of the blockade. If necessary, few more companies will also be sent to Manipur to assist the state government in maintaining law and order, official sources said on Tuesday. A company of paramilitary force comprises of about 100 personnel. The home ministry had last week sent additional 4,000 paramilitary personnel to Manipur, thus taking the total number of central security personnel deployed in the sensitive North-Eastern (N-E) state to 17,500. While the National Highway-37 is reopened, the NH-2 is yet to be reopened.
The security personnel were sent to the N-E state keeping in view the security situation in the wake of violence following the economic blockade imposed by the Union Naga Council (UNC) on the National Highways since November 1. The UNC has imposed the economic blockade on NH-2 (Imphal-Dimapur) and NH 37 (Imphal-Jiribam) that serve as lifelines for the landlocked Manipur. Curfew has been clamped in Imphal East district for the last fortnight after a mob torched and vandalised 22 passenger vehicles on the Imphal-Ukhrul road, while curfew in Imphal West district was imposed from evening to dawn.
Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju, who was on a day-long visit to Congress-ruled Manipur as a Central emissary, said it is completely unacceptable to have such kinds of blockades in which thousands are suffering and both the Central and Manipur governments will work together to end it. “The state government has not been able to end the blockade. It must end as soon as possible as law and order is the responsibility of the state government. Nobody will be allowed to take political advantage out of a humanitarian crisis where common people are suffering,” he had said.