Counter blockade on Ukhrul road condemned
Source: The Sangai Express / Addie Chiphang

Ukhrul, May 22 2010: In a surprise counter blockade imposed in Seijang area of Imphal East today, passenger buses plying from Imphal to Ukhrul were stopped and even newspapers meant for readers of Ukhrul district were seized by the locals.

All Manipur Working Journalists' Union also condemned the act of seizing newspapers in the strongest term and appealed to all concerned to desist from such activities in the future.

The incident sent public of Ukhrul district into a state of shock as many readers failed to find any newspapers in the markets.

Newspapers, transported by passenger buses normally reach Ukhrul town at around 9 am but since they were confiscated in Seijang area today by counter-blockade supporters readers in Ukhrul expressed disappointment.

After hearing the news of seizing such items many people got furious with rag and chided the newspaper seizers in Seijang area as "uncivilised" saying, the people of that area have gone too far without the slightest knowledge of freedom of press and violated the principles of International Freedom of Press Act and Press Council of India Act.

Terming such act as immature and uncivilised perpetrated by misguided few in the name of counter economic blockade, the Ukhrul District Journalist Association said those involved in the incident are no less than opportunists who have no place in today's era of open society where dissemination of important information is accorded top priority.

Every right thinking individual must condemn such unmindful act, the journalist association asserted.

Many individuals representing various walks of life in the district have condemned the act as ill attitude of the valley people towards their counterparts in the hills particularly in Ukhrul district.

According Media Cell of Tangkhul Action Committee, besides seizure of essential commodities like rice, there are reports of snatching away even eatables and fruits including biscuits, banana etc from the passengers at the time of consuming them.

The media cell further informed that fresh reports of confiscating mobiles for sale worth Rs 5 lacs belonging to one SK Mobile, Wino Ukhrul, while travelling by Imphal-Ukhrul bound bus by the supporters of counter economic blockade in Seijang areas.

Talking to The Sangai Express, proprietor of SK Mobile, K Samuel said it was a grave injustice meted out to him since he was looked as a 'rival' Tangkhul.

He also said that a Bengali businessman who was bringing 6 (six) TVs in a big cartoon box kept on the roof of the same bus was spared which he said is a clear indication that valley people committed such crime with a communal target.

Samuel alleged his humble request to UCM officials to oversee the incident was turned down.

"I also approached Sports Minister and spokesperson of SPF Government Biren for the same reason but the Minister simply replied me that he was helpless on the matter, a visibly disappointed Samuel said.

A Marikay Cosmetics goods worth Rs 1.3 lacs belonging to one Lady of Ukhrul was also reportedly taken away while she was on her way to Ukhrul in Seijang area.

According to a reliable source, a bag full of milk powder brought from Imphal for school children in Ukhrul was also robbed by the supporters without any words.

It can be mentioned that seizure of essential commodities and snatching of different articles have been reported along this road and in other parts of the State by supporters of counter economic blockade since May 8.Many of such incidents have also reportedly taken place right under the nose of State's policemen.

Meanwhile the Ukhrul District Journalist Association has appealed all concerned not to repeat such unwanted activities and not to use newspapers as a weapon for any type of agitation in the larger interest of all sections of people and to maintain information for peace and tranquillity.