Govt appeals to all concerned to call off economic and counter economic blockade
Security not deployed on NH-53 to avoid casualty: N Biren
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, May 17 2010: The government of Manipur has adequate security force to protect the goods trucks on National Highway-53.However, in order to avoid any casualty on the side of the protesters, if any, the Government is not deliberately deploying security forces on the highway.

This was announced by the Spokesperson of the SPF Government, Minister of IFCD and YAS, N Biren during a press conference held in his office chamber in the New Secretariat Complex this afternoon.

He said, the government has to consider the security of all the communities living together in Manipur.

People have seen the stand taken by the State Government regarding the territorial integrity of Manipur, Minister Biren said adding that two lives were claimed at Mao in trying to stop one man, who challenged the territorial integrity of the state.

The government feels so sad over the loss of lives.

Therefore, since the Government does not want to see a repeat of that kind of incident in Tamenglong district, it has not deliberately deployed the security forces on National Highway-53 to forcibly transport essential commodities resulting in somewhat of delay in doing so, the Spokesperson said.

He informed that two companies of BSF led by SP Tamenglong district are already camping at Noney.

The Government is not using additional security force to avert casualty on the part of civilians.

It is clear that some underground elements were using the civilians as tools to block the highway.

When the Government uses force to clear the blockade, it is only the innocent and unarmed civilians who would get hurt.

It is the moral conscience of the State Government to take care of the safety of the citizens.

Minister Biren further said that even though ten bridges located on this highway are weak, they can bear 25 tons of weight at a time.

He revealed that the Government has received accurate information about some anti-social elements remaining prepared to push down piles of boulders from the hill top as and when the vehicles (goods trucks and passenger vehicles) ply along the highway.

The State Cabinet has discussed the situation not less than twice.

Now, the Government is looking at sending in reinforcement for area domination.

Under this objective, the SP Ukhrul district has been sent to Noney, Minister Biren said.

The Spokesperson further disclosed that the Chief Minister has assigned a nine member team of church organisations of Manipur through MPCC president Gaikhangam to go to Kohima.

The team will talk to the church people of Nagaland about the hardships that economic blockade gives to the common people.

The Government is cofident that the team will succeed in its mission.

He also said, he himself along with MPCC president Gaikhangam has met people of Noney areas on National Highway-53 at his home.

They have been informed about the importance of the highway and the steps taken by the government.

They admitted that the locals do not block the highway nor support the blockade.

Some people from other places come and carry out the blockade.

This is a good sign of the situation improving.

It is expected that the situation will become normal very soon, Minister Biren said.

On complaints about the NH-53 not being improved, Minister Biren said that since the State Government has taken a decision on construction of Tipaimukh Multipurpose Project, once the project is constructed, some parts of the highway would be submerged under water.

Therefore, realignment of NH-53 is being done at present.

As soon as the realignment is completed, the improvement work on NH-53 would be started, the Spokesperson said.

Regarding the Government's attention on Imphal-Churachandpur-Tuivai road, Minister said, the Government has no fixed plan for getting supply of essential commodities transported on this road alone.

It is only to find an alternative road so that the essential commodities could be made available to the people of the state.

Not only this road, transportation of essential commodities on Imphal-Moreh road is also being considered.

For this purpose, the Government is talking to the Assam Rifles not to give obstruction to transport of the essential commodities.

The Government is also discussing with the Myanmarese authority at the highest level to allow essential commodities from that country to be exported to Manipur.

This idea and knowledge will not occur to any one who does not participate in Cabinet meetings and SPF meetings, Minister Biren.

Though he did not mention any name, all the media-persons who attended the press conference did not find it difficult to understand that Minister Biren was meaning Y Erabot.

He said, medicines and rations have been transported to Imphal by air cargo from today.

There is nothing to worry that the price of commodities would be increased.

The Government will bear the air surcharge to the price of the commodities.

Minister Biren, on behalf of the Government of Manipur, appealed to ANSAM and UNC to withdraw the economic blockade in the larger interest of the people.

He said, at the same time, the Government of Manipur will deal with the economic blockade appropriately.

He also appealed to the people of the valley areas, who are known for their magnanimity, to generously stop any kind of activity to counter the economic blockade.

Deputy Chairman of Manipur State Planning Board, MLA Bijoy Koijam was also present at the press conference.