Fasting MPP leaders arrested
Plea for release on bail ruled out

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, June 10 2010: Police on today arrested the two leaders of the Manipur People Party (MPP) on fast unto death in protest against government inaction towards ending the economic blockade on the National Highways in the state which is two month old today only to replace by three leaders of the party.

The two leaders, on fast unto death since last Monday, President Dr Nimaichand Luwang and former Speaker, Sapam Dhananjoy, were picked up by a team of Imphal City Police Station at about 9.30 am who came to the place where the two leaders were on fast with a team of Imphal west police led by Additional SP, N Herojit.

When the police team tried to pull down the banners at the fasting place, there was heated argument between the workers of the party and police.

Later, police left behind the banner and carried away the two leaders.

Fasting MPP leaders, Nimaichand and Dhananjoy being taken into police custody; three others continue fast

No sooner had the two leaders were picked up, three members of the party, president of the youth front of the party, Mutum Maniton, vice president Thiyam Dilip and chairman of the minority cell of the party, Md Aurungzeb have replaced them and started fasting from 1 pm.

Police booked them under section 309 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), related with attempt to commit suicide and produced in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Imphal west.

As they refused to obtain bail despite court's ruling, police have taken them 15 days judicial custody and transferred at the security ward of the JNIMS hospital for medical attention as their health condition have been highly deteriorated, a police officer said.

Force feeding on the two leaders has also started after their health conditions were checked by the doctors of the hospital, hospital source added.

The two leaders have been fasting for the last four days demanding immediate opening of the two highways, the life line of people of Manipur which have been blocking since April 11 .

MPP is blaming inaction on the part of the Central government and Manipur government to end the economic blockade despite their repeated plea to them to find ways to end the economic blockade imposing by the ANSAM rejecting holding of the elections under the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (Third Amendment) Act, 2008.UNC and some other Naga based civil organisations are also backing the students' body.

"We are not satisfied with the State as well as Central governments' inaction towards ending the blockade.

We have submitted many representations to the Prime Minister, Union Minister and State Chief Minister but so no reply or action taken to address the plight of the people comes up," MPP general secretary lamented.

The economic blockade had entered its 60th today and as a result of prolongs imposition of the blockade, artificial scarcity of all kinds of essential commodities are facing by the people of the state.

Prices of the available items have also been sky-rocketed.

Farmers are not getting fertilizers and diesel oils to till their fields in the pick season.

On the other had even though oil pumps are remaining close, petrol, diesel and cooking LPG gas are available in the grey markets at much higher rates beyond the affordable prices by the poor and common people.

Diesel cost Rs 80 to 90 per litre against its normal rate of Rs 30 per litre, petrol Rs 110 to 120 while refilled LPG cylinder is available at a cost of around 1500 per cylinder.

Even though these items were out of market in the last around one week even in the grey market, now grey marketers are mushrooming up in every nooks and corners of the Imphal and its outskirt and earning a good income apparently after the start of arriving freight trucks and oil tankers on the NH-53 with security escorts.

Imported rice like the superfine and less quality rice are still in the market, though not in plenty, but at hike prices.

The superfine rice costing only around Rs 800 per 100 kg bag is available at Rs 1400 or above.

Many raise questions of having gangs of black marketers and businessmen taking advantage but government authorities are not seen taking up steps to check us malpractices.