GUWAHATI: The Manipur High Court has declared the over four-month-old ongoing “economic blockade”, enforced on two national highways in the State, as illegal.
Hearing a PIL filed by a person called R K Joysana, the full Bench, comprising Chief Justice Rakesh Ranjan Prasad and justices N Koteswor and K Nobin, passed the order on March 3. It came to light on Monday.
The petitioner had expressed deep concern over people’s sufferings due to the blockade, which was enforced by the State’s apex social organisation of Nagas, the United Naga Council (UNC).
Arrested UNC president Gaidon Kamei and its publicity secretary Stephen Lamkang, who are currently in judicial custody, had appeared before the court during the hearing. However, six others, all from the UNC, failed to do so. The court gave them a “last chance” to appear before it on March 23.
In its order, the court said the blockade enforcers were “violating the fundamental rights of the citizens”.
“This is done to achieve some political wishes at the misery of the people,” the court said, ruling that, “The blockade imposed by the UNC is, hereby, declared illegal as per directives of the honourable Supreme Court.”
The UNC enforced the blockade in protest against the State government’s decision to create seven districts by carving out land from the existing nine without consulting all stakeholders, including the Nagas.