Blockade prompts bodies to eye NH-53
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 23: With no signs of ANSAM calling off the indefinite economic blockade imposed on the national highways and unreliability of the Nagaland Government in ensuring smooth passage of vehicles becoming clearer with each passing day, several bodies have highlighted the necessity of developing NH-53 permanently.

Continuing their fervent appeals to ANSAM to relax their stand and settle the impasse through dialogue, a large number of social and youth organisations mooted that solely depending on NH-39 to feed the people of Manipur need to be revised in view of the insecurity of truckers along the Nagaland stretch of the NH.

Seriously noting that the State Government looks towards NH-53 only when disruptive elements take control of NH-39, All Manipur Meetei Mayek Research and Training Board drew the attention of State authorities on the futility of relying on the Nagaland Government to bail out people of Manipur during any crisis.

Frequent excuses of insufficient security personnel for deployment on the Imphal-Silchar route should be discarded and the security personnel swarming the Imphal-Dimapur road should be utilised to re-inforce security cover on NH-53, contended the Board.

Incidents of blockade supporters pelting stones at Manipur-bound vehicles within Nagaland should be the wake-up call for the Government of Manipur to sanitise and maintain NH-53 in a proper manner as most of the goods are loaded at Assam State that shares boundary with Manipur, it explained.

Elaborating on necessity of providing fool-proof security cover to truckers who had expressed their desire to procure food stuff through NH-53, the Board said that dislocation of Irang Bridge is a warning that destructive forces can go to any extent to cripple Manipur.

Cautioning the Governor against making questionable comments pertaining to the June 18 declaration based on misinformation campaigns by doubtful character/s the Board asserted that determination and conviction of people of Manipur should not be doubted as was evident during the June 2001 movement.

Conveying of a meeting convened at the premises of Manipur Rajbari Athletic Club, Guwahati today and attended by representatives of numerous Meitei organisations scattered in Assam State a press release informed of resolving to prevail upon both State Government and ANSAM to settle the economic blockade impasse without further delay.

Taking note of the indefinite blockade affecting daily livelihood of people in both the hills and valley areas of Manipur the meeting also asked NSF to review its conduct and instead contribute in bringing an end to the agitation that had crippled Manipur for over a month.

Expressing resentment on silence maintained by the Central Government the meeting also resolved to strive for territorial integrity of Assam and called for, status quo oh existing boundaries of the North East region, said a press release issued by Assam Meitei Apunba Meepham (Convention), Guwahati.

The meeting also endorsed constituting a 25 member committee with W Saratchandra as the chief convenor.

Urging ANSAM to call of its agitation taking into account common people having to bear the blockade impact Manipurgee Apunba Ngamkhei Kanbada Tengbangba Lup (Wangoo) made a clarion call upon all the communities to contribute their mite in solving the crisis.

Observing that making the general public suffer by cutting off the food supply would strain cordial relationships and age old peaceful co-existence amongst various communities the Lup charged the Central Government and NSCN (IM) of creating uneasy situation currently engulfing the State of Manipur.

Besides stock position of essential commodities declining rapidly the blockade is causing severe headache to farmer community as purchase of fertilizers and insecticides had become an uphill task due to low stock and traders hiking prices taking undue advantage of stock shortage, highlighted United Voluntary Organisation for Socio-Economic and Cultural Advancement, Wangoo.

Distress of the farmers regarding lack of items indispensable for agricultural activities would have direct repercussion not only upon the immediate families of the agriculturists but the entire State population in the coming months, echoed Wangoo Laipham Women Social Reformers Organisation, Wangoo Laipham Awang Leikai Nupi Chaokhat Lup and Wangoo Thongkhong Tampha Leima Meira Paibi Yaipha Thourang Lup in separate statements.

Association for Social Action (Wangjing), Thoubal District Human Rights Organisation, Leimarol Apunba Lup (Singjamei) and DYFI - Manipur State Committee also appealed for ending the blockade.

Meanwhile, Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) highlighting shortages of essential commodities due to the ANSAM agitation appealed to the student organisation to suspend their stir for at least 100 hours so that suffering of the common people could be addressed.

Speaking to newspersons at State Guest House today MSCP president M Hemanta iterated that the economic blockade had resulted in rapid decline of medicine stocks, baby foods and other life saving drugs.

Flaying administrative inefficiency of Manipur Government in ensuring adequate food stock Hemanta expressed concerned that failure to end the impasse is causing tension amongst section of the society.