After 139 days, Naga Council lifts economic blockade on Manipur

Haryana farmers on their way to a Jat agitation rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi

Imphal: The economic blockade spearheaded by United Naga Council (UNC) will be lifted after 139 days on Sunday midnight, according to a joint statement released after a tripartite talk.

The tripartite talks among the Government of India, Government of Manipur and UNC was held at Senapati District Headquarters with the Joint Secretary (NE), Ministry of Home Affairs in the chair.

Following the meeting, we have chose to lift the economic blockade with effect from tonight, UNC General Secretary S Milan said.

S Milan, General Secretary of UNC told ET, "We have made a decision to lift the economic blockade and government has assured to look in our demand of cancelling the creation of new districts". Naga people's Front (NPF), close to the UNC which supported the blockade, is a part of the BJP government.

The economic blockade in Manipur will be lifted on 20 March, reports on Sunday said. Chief Minister N Biren Singh immediately after taking oath today convened a meeting of Cabinet ministers and elected MLAs.


Former presidents of the UNC Paul Leo, Samson Remei, Lohrii Adani, UNC General Secretary S Milan, ANSAM President Shatsang and Naga Women Union President LM Tabitha also attended the talks which started from 1.35 pm and concluded at 4.10 pm after a break.

Manipur has been reeling under the blockade imposed by the UNC on the two national highways connecting Manipur with Assam, Nagaland and Myanmar since November 2016. The UNC took offence, particularly to the creation of the districts of Jiribam and Kangpokpi. Chief MinisterOkram Ibobi says this has been done for administrative convenience, and that creating a district is the prerogative of the government. The blockade of National Highway-2 caused severe difficulties to the people of Manipur, especially with regard to availability of essential commodities.

The UNC has been demanding a separate state from Manipur and protested strongly against the Congress-led government, which had been in place for 15 years.

Saying that the next round of tripartite talks would be held in a month's time at the political level, the UNC also expressed appreciation of the initiative and new approach of the state government to address core issues.

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