After over four months, Manipur blockade to be lifted from midnight

The economic blockade of Manipur imposed by the United Naga Council will be lifted from midnight Sunday, it was announced here. The decision to end the blockade was taken at a tripartite meeting between the UNC, the newly-formed state government and the Centre at the district headquarters of Senapati.

The Manipur govt has also agreed to release the arrested UNC leaders without any conditions and cases against leaders related to the economic blockade will be closed.

November 25, 2016: A total shutdown is called for by the UNC and other Naga organisations.

He said another reason was to create a conducive environment for the democratic process of consultations and dialogues. But, the government later created seven new districts, saying it was necessary for administrative convenience. Creation of Kangpokpi as a full-fledged district has, however, been a decades-long demand of the Kuki tribe inhabiting the area.

Additional Chief Secretary Suresh Babu and Commissioner (Home) Radha Kumar representing Manipur government; and joint Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) North East in-charge Satyender Garg representing the government of India, also attended the talks.

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Manipur had been reeling under acute shortage of all essential commodities, including fuel, due to the blockade. While the price of petrol went up to Rs 200 a litre, that of an LPG cylinder went up to Rs.2500.

The Congress government had insisted on holding talks either in Imphal or Delhi, but the present coalition government has agreed to hold talks in Senapati district, where the head office of UNC is located.

Ahead of the state elections, the economic blockade had become a political talking point. The BJP's assurance was that the lifting of the blockade would be the first thing a government led by the party would deliver to the people of Manipur.

Addressing a press meet at Classic Hotel here, the Chief Minister further assured to take steps for burial of those killed during violent protests in 2015.

The UNC made a decision to lift the blockade, which had left Manipur teetering on the edge, from Sunday midnight, 139 days after it had launched its protest against the creation of new districts by the former Congress government.