Manipur’s five months long national highway and economic blockade was lifted on Friday, 19 March at night after successful meeting and discussion between the newly formed Manipur state government, the Centre and UNC leaders.
Manipur has been suffering from a national highway blockage and hence economic crisis since 139 days that is almost five months which was imposed by the United Naga Council on November 1, 2016 as a protest against Okram Ibobi Singh-led Congress government. Two of the state’s national highways NH-2 and NH-37 were blocked and that led to rocket-hiked prices of day-to-day essential commodities and had disrupted the economy and normal life.
Successfully solving the issue soon after coming in governance can be said to be Manipur’s newly formed, Biren Singh-led BJP government’s first achievement. Chief Minister Biren Singh said “Our effort is to make it (lifting of blockade) successful. It is just the beginning. The word was given by honorable Prime Minister Modiji to the people of Manipur during the election campaign. We are trying to fulfil his words.
The protest was against the creation of new districts by the former Congress government. The Nagas this step was unfavourable to them because it ended up in dividing their ancestral land and were demanding for revoke the newly formed districts or the blockage will continue. The tripartite meeting was held on Sunday with the Centre, the state government and Union Naga Council (UNC) leaders. In the meeting, the agreement statement was released which stated that the creation of new districts will not be done without permission of the stakeholders.
The agreement stated that “The grievances of the UNC which led to the imposition of economic blockade by them was recognised as there was non-adherence to the four MoUs and the Centre’s assurance on the matter. As the MoUs said that creation of new districts would not be done without consulting the stakeholders, the state government agreed to start consultation with all stakeholders to redress the same.”
Lifting the blockage was a huge relief to people of Manipur and was welcomed with bursts of loud cheers, crackers and woohoo waahaas with an expectation of better days from the new government as per their claims.