IMPHAL: Life has returned to normal in Manipur as the month-long blockade imposed by the United Naga Council has been lifted. The blockade on the national highways came to an end after tripartite talks between the Centre, state and the agitating Naga group. The new government in Manipur brings cheer to the locals as the four-month long blockade on the highways imposed by the United Naga Council has been lifted.
Goods-laden trucks and other vehicles started playing from March 19 midnight to ensure availability of fuel, food and other essential commodities.
The people in Imphal welcomed the government’s initiative to end the deadlock.
“I would say it’s good news and I am happy. For months, we were having very difficult times since we could not get our goods properly from another state,” said Dalh Rai, a shopkeeper.
Loitongbam Thoiba Singh, a local here, expressed his gratitude to the United Naga Council and other parties for taking steps to lift the blockade.
“This newly elected BJP-led government is doing a good job and I hope they will do better in the days to come,” he said.
The economic blockade in Manipur ended following the tripartite talks between the United Naga Council, state government and the Centre in Senapati.
The meeting was headed by Satyendra Garg, Joint Secretary (Northeast) in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
“Everything which has been placed on the table, all their grievances including the main grievance of a proposal to create seven new districts, and the point of view of UNC will be considered and a fresh decision will be taken wherever is required,” said Garg.
“And I am very happy to announce that we have successfully resolved this issue and 20th March will be an absolutely new beginning for Manipur and this economic blockade will be lifted tonight,” he added.
The United Naga Council had imposed the blockade in protest against the creation of seven new districts by the then Congress-led-government as it was in contravention of Greater Nagalim envisaged by the group.
The next tripartite talks will be held within a month at the political level.
“Of course, their (UNC) demand is to roll back the creation of seven new districts in Manipur. That is their demand and that is their agenda but whether it will be possible or not, I think it will be taken up in the next tripartite talk between the GoI, UNC and GoM,” said prof. Khsetri bimola, a political analyst.
“We are very much relieved, especially the common people, and I think members of the UNC may also be feeling happy because they too are Manipuris,” he added.
The arrested leaders of United Naga Council were released unconditionally following the talks.