ANSAM lifts 49th day old economic blockades from tomorrow noon
Source: Oken Jeet Sandham

Kohima, August 10 (NEPS): The 49th day old economic blockades which had been imposed on two national highways of Manipur---39 and 53---by All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) in protest against the Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi's declaration of June 18 as "State Holiday" will be lifted from 12 noon tomorrow.

Disclosing this to a press conference held here at the Naga Students' Federation (NSF)'s office today, NSF President Pushika Awomi and ANSAM President Paul Langhu said they took the decision of lifting the 49th day old economic blockades imposed on Manipur's two national highways after consultations with the Naga Hoho, and other Naga Civil organizations keeping in view the immense hardships faced by the people of Manipur.

It also stated various central leaders including Prime Minister and Home Minister had already requested the delegation of the Naga Hoho to lift the economic blockades when the latter visited the former.

The student leaders however pointed out that the Manipur Government should try to resolve the controversial June 18 Holiday Declaration and further cautioned the blockade might be resumed if the Government did not attempt to find solution to the problem.

It may be mentioned that the ANSAM launched the economic blockades on the two national highways of Manipur---39 and 53---connecting the State since June 22 in protest against Chief Minister O Ibobi's declaration of June 18 as "State Holiday." The student organization took the matter as an insult to the aspiration of the Naga people who are fighting to live under single administrative unit.

The student body had however did not object the offer of talks by Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi to end the blockade impasse but venue of the talks became the main hurdle throughout.

The student body said any talks should be held in four hill districts of the State where Nagas were majority whereas Ibobi Government explained such talks could only be held in Imphal, the State capital.

Both sides remained non-committal to their demands thereby the blockades continues for 49 days till date.

The Manipur has been undergoing unprecedented hardships during this one of the longest economic blockades on their lifelines and the Chief Minister for the first time was forced to utilize the abandoned national highway 53---Imphal-Silcher road---to bring in essential commodities.

For the record, the Union Home Ministry had used the services of the cargo planes of the Indian Air Force (IOAF) for airlifting essential items including life saving drugs from Guwahati.

During the 49th day economic blockade, the ANSAM activists also launched non-cooperation movement with the Manipur Government in the hill districts---Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Tamenglong---following some of their volunteers were fired upon by Manipur IRB personnel.

They had also destroyed over 20 Government offices in the four hill districts during this period.