SENAPATI, Nov 2 : Even as the 48 hours total shutdown called by the United Naga Council (UNC) in Manipur ended today, the indefinite economic blockade on National Highways including the ban on the construction of Trans Asian Railways, Jiribam to Tupul and other National projects in all the “Naga territories” in Manipur has come into force.
The agitation has been called against the “lopsided decision” of the State Government to create Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts.
Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh was reportedly invited to the Kut festival at Kangpokpi town but the Chief Minister did not turn up to attend the programme.
Sources said that it was planned that the Chief Minister would declare the creation of Sadar Hills district during Kut festival at Kangpokpi. Sources added that the Chief Minister may have aborted the plan due to the strong opposition raised by the Nagas.
Sadar Hills lies in Senapati district.
Meanwhile, speculations are doing the round that the Kuki organisations are waiting to get the Kut festivity over to assert their demand that Sadar Hills be declared a district.
It is learnt that Chief Minister O Ibobi had consulted Naga legislators a few days back on the Sadar Hills issue during which the Naga legislators asked him not to declare Sadar Hills district. The Naga legislators had even threatened to resign if Sadar Hills district is created, according to sources.
Two days ago, the UNC had warned that O Ibobi Singh “shall be held responsible” for any eventuality if it goes against the letter and spirit of the four Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed earlier.
According to the UNC, the wishes of the indigenous Naga people on the issue of the “so called Sadar Hills” have been expressed in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed between the Naga people and the Government of Manipur on December 14, 1981, between the Government of Manipur and All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) on November 10, 1992, between Government of Manipur and Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) on September 27, 1996, between the Government of Manipur and United Naga Council(UNC) and ANSAM on June 23, 1998.
The main content of all the four MoUs is that “not even an inch of Naga ancestral land and will be touched while creating any new district” and also a written assurance given by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India on November 24, 2011.
“It is the obligation of every Naga people to protect and defend our ancestral land, people, identity, history, tradition, culture, custom and time honored-institutions at all cost. We are the owner of our land and we will never allow anyone to decide for the Nagas. We strongly oppose the proposed creation of the so called Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts,” the UNC added.
UNC bandh total but peaceful at Ukhrul : The 48 hours total shut down called by the UNC was enforced effectively by the Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) at Ukhrul district, reports our correspondent.
The TNL is an affiliated unit of the UNC and is strongly against any move to declare Sadar Hills as a district.
Making its stand clear, TNL said that many Tangkhul villages under Senapati and Ukhrul itself would be amalgated to Sadar Hills district if and when Sadar Hills is upgraded to the status of a district.
Strongly objecting any move to create Sadar Hills district, TNL said that not an inch of the land of the Nagas and the Tangkhuls should be carved out to create the district.
Vice president of TNL Peimi said that volunteers have been deployed for stringent and effective implementation of the shut down in and around the district to check movement and shipment any goods from the district beyond Ukhrul.
Shops and other establishments remained shut while offices, schools and colleges were all closed. There is however no report of any untoward incident during the shut down at Ukhrul district.
Source: The Sangai Express