Chief Minister appeals to stop highway blockade
Source: Manipur Mail

Imphal, October 04: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi today appealed to the United Committee, Manipur to call off the stir resulting in blockade of the national highway no 39.After the Piphema incident which occurred on September 5 at Nagaland the UCM had decided to boycott the national highway no 39 at Nagaland.

The all party delegation from Manipur discussed the matter with the Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and the Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani however the UCM team now camping in the capital could not meet the Prime Minister.

Ibobi said he urged the Prime Minister to meet the UCM team.

The UCM members led by its President Sapamcha Jadumani now in Delhi had charged that the government had betrayed them as they were not invited to the talks with the Prime Minister.

O Ibobi said he never betrayed anyone and he had made a sincere and honest effort to solve the problem.

Ibobi said the bridges which are on the national highway no 53 will be made serviceable.

The central government was urged to convert the national highway no 53 into double lane.

Only the portion from Nungba to Jiribam which is about 48 km remains to be improved at NH 53 Ibobi said.

Ibobi informed the Prime Minister and the Dy Prime Minister that the NSCN (IM) is extorting huge amounts of money from the passengers and harassing all those who travel on the two highways.

About Rs 2000 to Rs 4000 is collected by NSCN (IM) per trip from every vehicle that passes on the highway he said.

The trip was fruitful and the delegation was assured that security will be sent after the completion of the election process in JK.

Narrating the meeting with his Nagaland counterpart SC Jamir, Ibobi said Jamir appealed to the UCM leaders to call iff the agitation.

We should not be sentimental Jamir observed and suggested that the two DGPs from the two states should meet together and chalk out a strategy to avoid recurrence of the Piphema incident.

Jamir observed in a light vein that 70 to 80 per cent of the anti social elements operating in Nagaland are from Manipur.

Soon the two DGPs will hold talks Ibobi said.

The Prime Minister has already called a meeting on October 8 to discuss the national highway issue.

Gen Khanduri MOS Surface Transport has already assured that the NH 53 will be developed.