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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

No end in sight to NH-2 blockade against Manipur

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HT Correspondent

DIMAPUR, Mar 28: There is no end in sight to the NH-2 blockade in Nagaland under Southern Angami Youth Organisation (SAYO) jurisdiction against Manipur. The blockade entered the eighth day on Monday.

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The SAYO, which called the blockade, will sit with the apex organisations of Angami Naga Naga tribe – Angami Public Organisation and Angami Youth Organisation – in Kohima on Tuesday to decide on its future course of action on the ongoing blockade.

Informing this, SAYO president Metekhrielie Mejura told this correspondent over the phone on Monday that the blockade will not be lifted until the Manipur government withdraws its forces from Kezoltsa.

The SAYO initially called the blockade for 72 hours on March 21 against non-withdrawal of Manipur armed personnel stationed at Kezoltsa. The blockade was later extended for an indefinite period from midnight on March 23.

On Monday, SAYO volunteers were seen imposing the blockade at two points on the highway passing through Kigwema village and Zero Point under Sakhabama.

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The blockade prompted the Manipur government to re-route stranded Manipur-bound vehicles, including petroleum product carriers, towards NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam) bordering Assam with security escorts.

Asked whether the Nagaland government gave any assurance to resolve the issue, Mejura said the state government requested them to withdraw the blockade and asked to submit some documents relating to the land in question that has become the bone of contention between SAYO and the Manipur government. He said the SAYO had submitted the required papers but there is no response from the Nagaland government side so far.

Mejura also called the indefinite counter-blockade imposed by the All Assam Manipuri Youths Association (AAMYA) on the Assam side of NH-39 against Nagaland since March 27 midnight uncalled for. He said he did not find any logic in imposing counter-blockade when the AAMYA said there is always a better way to resolve such types of issues.

Mejura told media persons at Kimipfuphe ground in Kigwema village on Friday that the decision to call off the bandh now solely rests on the Manipur government. He asked why the Manipur government was hesitant in taking “a simple step” of recalling its troops who are illegally occupying Kezoltsa forest.

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However, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh said in the Manipur Assembly on March 26 that the police structure was constructed around 100 meters inside Manipur territory from the disputed inter-state border. Claiming that the area is purely within Manipur territory, Singh said it is clearly seen in the internationally recognized satellite map.

He also said the blockade called by the SAYO is not a dispute between the Manipur government and Nagaland government and that both the governments will try to resolve it at the state level. However, he added that it is not solved at the state level, they will resolve it at the central level with the Central government as the mediator.

Meanwhile, the Nagaland Medical Dealers Association has appealed to SAPO to allow transportation of essential live-saving medicines to Manipur on humanitarian grounds.

NMDA joint secretary Arijit Sharma, in a release, said the blockade along NH-2, the lifeline of Manipur, has halted all vehicular movement and supply of medicines, creating panic among the people of Manipur.blockade

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The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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