Continuing the economic blockade UCM’s deadline drawing near

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This is not sounding the alarm bell, but the situation is indeed frightening. Just one day after the United Committee Manipur (UCM) urged the United Naga Council (UNC) to lift the economic blockade by midnight of December 7, the latter came out with a statement that the economic blockade will continue along with the ban on National projects in Naga inhabited areas. Maybe it is a co-incidence, but not everyone may look at this as a co-incidence, so deep is the trust deficit between different communities, made worse by the ongoing economic blockade. So while the UNC has imposed the economic blockade on the National Highways connecting Manipur with the rest of the country, some people in the valley areas have been imposing counter blockades, thereby cutting off all flow of goods from the valley to the hill districts. As stated many times earlier in this column, officially the blockade may be against the agenda of the State Government to declare Sadar Hills and Jiribam as full fledged districts, but in reality it is seen as something which has targeted a particular set of people. Hence the counter blockade, which officially is against the ongoing economic blockade, but in effect is against goods flowing to the people settled in the hill districts. Nothing is going right and making things more uncertain is the stoic silence maintained by the State Government till date. What is the official stand of the State Government on the question of district status to the two sub-divisions ? The people have suffered enough and it is time for the Government to act.
Now with the deadline set by the UCM drawing near, there is all round uncertainty. And to be sure rumour mills have been doing the round with ‘fantastic tales’ coming into the office of The Sangai Express. With the UCM not exactly spelling out what it intends to do, nothing can be said for sure, but it will not be anything pleasant. No doubt, being a responsible organisation, the UCM will not do anything to further muddy the inter-community relationship but the deep divide between the different communities is more than evident. The stand is against any design to grant district status to Sadar Hills and Jiribam but in the process it is the people who have been made to bear the brunt of the anti-districts stand. And it this which is unfortunate. At the risk of repeating an earlier stand, it is more than right that the UNC reviews its stand. Roll back the blockade. As said earlier in this column, the strong opposition against Sadar Hills and Jiribam has already been demonstrated. Makes no sense in prolonging the suffering of the people. The UCM too should take extra care to ensure that any course of action it takes up does not further deepen the already deep divide between different communities.

Source: The Sangai Express

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