15 companies of central forces put at Manipur’s disposal: Centre

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) Expressing concern over the ongoing blockade of the National Highways in Manipur, the Centre on Monday said 15 companies of central forces stationed in the state had been placed at the disposal of the Manipur government to deal with the situation.

Last week, another 15 companies of central forces were made available to the Manipur government to enable it to get the blockade lifted.

“It is hoped that the state government will act with responsibility and maturity to ensure both maintenance of supplies to Manipur as well as social harmony. The Ministry of Home Affairs will provide additional forces to the state government, if necessary,” a Ministry statement said here.

It also appealed to the United Naga Council (UNC) to remove its “illegal blockade” in view of the difficulties faced by the people of Manipur.

“All contentious issues need to be settled peacefully by democratic and lawful means,” the statement said.

The central government said it was “firmly committed” to maintaining rule of law in the north-eastern state.

“The government of India is firmly committed to maintaining the rule of law. It considers blockades anywhere in India a gross violation of law and a crime against humanity that causes untold suffering to countless humans,” the Ministry statement said.

“No individual or organisation will be allowed to take the law into their own hands,” it added.

The government is committed to ensuring that the routes to Manipur are open and remain accessible to all, including for the supply of petroleum products and other essential commodities.

The UNC had intensified its economic blockade following the creation of seven new districts in Manipur last Thursday.

Hundreds of loaded trucks and oil tankers remain stranded in Assam, Nagaland and near Manipur’s border along National Highways 2 and 53.

The blockade of supplies has led to severe shortage of fuel, consumer items and life-saving drugs in the state.

–IANS

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