IMPHAL, Sept 22: Manipur People’s Party (MPP) staged a sit-in-protest in front of its office near Mapal Kangjeibung today decrying abnormal price hike in the wake of economic blockade imposed on the national highways.
Preisdent of MPP, Nimaichand Luwang, senior opposition MLA O Joy, ex-MP Th Chaoba and other senior leaders participated in the sit-in-protest.
Speaking to media persons, Nimaichand Luwang stated that the Congress-led SPF government has failed to address the problems of the state pertaining to Sadar Hills issues. The government has remained as a silent spectator to the sufferings of the people, he noted.
Meanwhile, the MPP has submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India on blockade issues through the Governor of Manipur today.
The memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister mentioned that there is an abnormal and uncontrollable price-hike of all commodities with each passing day in this state. It is unbelievable that the price of onion soars up to Rs. 100 per kg while potato sells at Rs. 45 per kg. The price of one gas cylinder is Rs. 1500 and petrol is sold at Rs. 130 per litre. This is really alarming. There is still no sign of let-up of this trend.
The most shocking news that gave a big blow to the people of Manipur was that of the torching of the trucks carrying life-saving drugs and medical items along the National Highway No. 2 by the blockade supporters. This has greatly affected the working in the hospitals, medical and health-care centres and also private patients, it stated.
The blockade has also given great inconveniences to the school going and college going students, farmers, patients and the public. In short, negative impacts have been felt by all sections of the society by this economic blockade.
But the most perplexing part of the episode is that economic blockades are illegal and unlawful. It is used very rarely as a war-time strategy by warring countries when there is no law. Its main objective is to strangulate the populace which will lead to slow-death. So the question that automatically comes up to us is why is this economic blockade repeatedly employed in Manipur by agitators when they demand something? India is a great country with the greatest democracy in the world. But this economic blockade which runs counter to democratic movement unfortunately happens to thrive in Manipur without any hindrance so to say. There had been such blockades in the past giving untold miseries to the people. Still this phenomenon is allowed to happen again and again. So we can conclude that something is wrong somewhere in the governance of this state.
Even if such actions have been resorted to by agitators as a means to achieve their demands; the State Government should immediately rise to the occasion and settle it before the people are at the receiving end of these tussles. Coming to the present crisis, the S.P.F. Government now ruling Manipur is solely responsible for this tragedy. Allowing this nightmarish experience to drag on relentlessly bespeaks the weak-kneed policy of the State Government. The duty of a potent Government is to safeguard, among others, the economic security of the people. But the SPF Government in Manipur has completely failed in this regard. The outcome of an unlawful and illegal action hurled against the government has made the issue very delicate which makes the government of Manipur doubly incompetent. Inspite of the assurances by the S.P.F Government to end the blockade by the 16th of August last when the blockade was only 15 days old it is still continuing even to-day completing 52 days. This shows the impotence of the SPF Government, the memorandum mentioned.
The weakness and spinelessness of the present Government of Manipur has been proved by its stark failure to address this issue properly. It has failed either to solve this problem at the earliest, without resorting to dilly-dallying tactics or to arrange to lift up this unlawful blockade by any means or devise ways and means to avail the people of Manipur of the essential commodities including the life-saving drugs and oxygen for operation purposes. Even if the present imbroglio goes on with no end in sight the state government should at any cost make the daily necessities of life and other unavoidable ingredients of a meaningful life, available to the people or else we are afraid serious public unrests and untoward incidents may flare up. But unfortunately, the state government seems unable to do anything in this regard.
The Manipur People`s Party is deeply concerned over this matter since our main objective is the welfare of the people. We should see that not a single moment is lost to put an end to this crisis. The matter demands utmost urgency, it said.
The MPP further urged upon the Prime Minister to intervene in this matter and cause to end the suffering of the people by using any means to lift up the illegal economic blockade or immediately dismiss the incompetent SPF government in the interest of the people.