Manipur has no fuel in stock as Naga blockade continues

Imphal, Nov 10 (IANS) There is no petrol and diesel in stock in the state, Manipur Chief secretary Oinam Nabakishore said on Thursday.

Nabakishore told IANS that it was the result of the indefinite economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC) from the last week of October.

He said over 150 loaded oil tankers have been stranded at Khatkhati in Assam since the drivers cannot enter Manipur. Besides, nearly 1,800 trucks loaded with goods and oil tankers have been stranded beyond Manipur’s border at Mao Gate.

The United Naga Council had imposed a 48-hour strike in October-end since it was of the view that the Manipur government was planning to create two new districts, Jiribam and Sadar Hills.

As it evoked no response from the government, the UNC imposed an economic blockade for indefinite period.

The UNC and other Naga groups have been saying that there are several Naga villages inside Sadar Hills and these should be excluded rom the state, as “the Nagas are the rightful owners of these lands”.

On the other hand, the activists in Jiribam, a sub-division of Imphal East district, had imposed a shutdown and economic blockade of the region to protest the government failure to create the new Jiribam district.

The state police have been unable to bring the stranded trucks and oil tankers into the state in view of the “shortage of paramilitary personnel” to provide escort.

The activists in Jiribam and Sadar Hills say Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh is delaying the official announcement on the two new districts under pressure, he apparently has been maintaining a studied silence.

In Manipur, a litre of petrol is being sold at Rs 180 and there is no official intervention to check this profiteering and exploitation. Prices of many commodities have been jacked up and many items have simply vanished from the market.

–IANS

il/pgh/vt

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