It looks much more than just a co-incidence. One day after the NSCN (IM) came out strongly against the decision of the State Government to create seven new districts, blockade supporters opened fire at goods laden vehicles at two places and injured a driver and the helper of another driver. Significant to note too that this was the first time that blockade supporters had used fire arms in attacking the goods laden vehicles. A point which should not miss the eye of the Centre. Another disturbing trend is the counter blockade that has been imposed at different points in the valley area and making things more unacceptable is the fact that while the State Government has been providing the needed security cover to beat the blockade, those imposing the counter blockade seem to have been given a free hand. This is equally unacceptable. Violence and use of fire arms targeting drivers and their helpers and things are certainly ugly and no one seems to know how to control the situation. It is also clear that the NSCN (IM) has taken strong exception to the creation of the new districts and one just has to go back to the statement issued to the media on December 12. Apart from stating its stand on the issue, the outfit went to the extent of asserting ‘ the treacherous policy will lead to endless confrontation and will surely jeopardize the ongoing peace process.’ In the process the NSCN (IM) not only came out strongly against the stand of the State Government but also the Centre and went on record to state that it has taken serious note of the ‘incessant assault on the political and historical rights of the Nagas by the Government of Manipur backed by the Central Government.’
To rewind. The economic blockade came into force from midnight of October 31 and prior to this was the 48 hours shut down in tribal areas. The counter blockade soon followed at different points in the valley area. So in effect this means that the National Highways connecting Manipur to the rest of the country and other roads connecting the hill districts with the valley area have remained cut off all these days and it is only right to ask whether such a measure as cutting off the lifelines of the people is acceptable or not. For more than 30 days, the lifelines of the State have remained cut off and the natural question that follows is what has the Centre done ? Apart from the statement from the Union Home Ministry that blockade is a gross violation of law and asking the United Naga Council to lift the ongoing economic blockade, keeping in mind the sufferings of the people, nothing much seems to have been done. The question is why can’t the NSCN (IM) be asked to review the blockade stand ? And why can’t the State Government come down with a heavy hand on those enforcing the counter blockade ? At the crux of it all is the deep divide amongst the different communities of Manipur. This is what is worrying. The aspirations of the different communities seem to be on collision course and more than right that some serious thought is given on where to find a common meeting ground.
Source: The Sangai Press