HC intervenes as Nagas threaten ‘total shutdown’
Imphal, Nov 25 (IANS) The Manipur High Court on Friday directed the Director General of Police, the Chief Secretary and others to beef up security measures along the two national highways, which are the lifelines of Manipur amid the Nagas threatening a “total shutdown”.
Threatening shutdown, the Nagas are demanding the unconditional release of two top functionaries of the United Naga Council (UNC), which has been backing the indefinite economic blockade against Manipur.
The full bench of the High Court of Manipur comprising Chief Justice Rakesh Ranjan Prasad, Justices N. Koteshor and K. Nobin on Friday directed the Manipur government to deploy adequate amounts of police and paramilitary forces along the two national highways to ensure free and untrammelled movement of trucks and oil tankers.
The UNC had imposed the blockade from November 1 protesting against plans to create Sadar Hills district by usurping the “lands of the Nagas”. The next hearing is on December 1.
Meanwhile police arrested Gaidon Kamei and S. Stephen, President and Information Secretary of the UNC respectively, at Pheidinga in Imphal district on Friday while they were travelling to UNC head office in Senapati district.
Addressing a press conference S. Satang, President of the All Naga Students Union in Manipur, demanded unconditional release of the two persons failing which there will be a total shutdown. It will mean that movement of passenger and private vehicles along the national highways, which has no rail line, shall not be allowed.
Satang added that there is no objection to the creation of a new district. But it should be done after consulting the Nagas.
As Manipur is facing a shortage of all goods including life saving medicines, armed personnel have been escorting hundreds of trucks from Assam bringing badly needed items including fuel.
Both the state and central governments have been resorting to a blame game while hundreds of loaded trucks and oil tankers are stranded. One litre of petrol is being sold for Rs 300 on the black market in Manipur.