CPI sets Integrity Day record straight
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 16: Categorically stating that the present economic blockade imposed on NH-39 is an outcome of the ongoing peace talk between the NSCN (IM) and the Government of India and has nothing to do with the declaration of Integrity Day and State holiday on June 18, the State CPI today said that it is the responsibility of the Centre to ensure that the highway is opened.

In a statement, CPI said that after due deliberations the State Executive of the party came to the view that linking the economic blockade with the Integrity Day declaration is misplaced.

Explaining its stand, CPI said that August 4 in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 were observed as Manipur Integrity Day and the day was a half holiday in all these years.

Thereafter June 18 came to be known as State Integrity Day in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and 2005 and in each of this year too, the day was declared a holiday by the State Government.

As such it would be wrong to link the economic blockade with the declaration of Integrity Day, reasoned, CPI and added that the blockade is a fall out of the peace talk between the IM group and New Delhi.

This being the situation, the Centre should take the responsibility of opening the highway and ensure its protection, said the statement.

The CPI also appealed to ANSAM to call off its economic blockade so that the ties that bind the people of different communities in Manipur remain intact.

The Chief Minister himself had admitted on the floor of the House that if the declaration of June 18 as State Integrity day had hurt the sentiments of any community, then it was unfortunate, recalled the statement and added that ANSAM too should give due thought over the statement of the Chief Minister.

The Chief Minister has also left his doors wide open for the ANSAM leaders to come to the negotiating table, said CPI and appealed to ANSAM to consider the plight of the people and talk things over so that the matter may be resolved amicably.

Meanwhile taking serious note of the dwindling stock of life saving drugs and oxygen at the hospitals, Manipur Forward Youth Front in a statement today said that the Centre and the State Government should take up the onus of making alternative arrangements to ensure that the flow of life saving drugs is not disrupted.

The important thing at the moment is not whether the blockade is lifted or not but making alternative arrangements, said MAFYF.

The statement further said that the territory of the State will be protected by the people and resolutions passed at the Assembly is not enough as the recent memorandum signed by Naga MLAs and MPs proved.