Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

UNC lifts economic blockade

UNC lifts economic blockade

In a major development, the United Naga Council (UNC) in Manipur on Sunday chose to lift the economic blockade of National Highways 2 and 53 from Sunday midnight.

The decision to lift the blockade from Sunday midnight was taken at a tripartite meet with the state government, the United Naga Council (UNC) and the Centre on Sunday at Senapati district headquarters.

The two leaders of UNC - Gaidon Kamei, President, and Stephen Lamkang, Information Secretary - who were arrested on November 25 last, will be released unconditionally. Naga people's Front (NPF), close to the UNC which supported the blockade, is a part of the BJP government.

Common people reeled under its effect even as the then Congress government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the centre traded charges against each other of "not doing enough" to lift the blockade from the poll-bound state.

The development comes after the newly sworn Chief Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh on Friday extended an invitation to hold talks with the agitating leaders of the UNC party in the state.

The economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC) will be lifted today midnight after completion of 141 days.

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In a joint statement, additional chief secretary J. Suresh Babu and UNC general secretary S. Milan said: "The grievances of the UNC that led to the imposition of the economic blockade was recognised at the meeting".

The previous Congress government under Okram Ibobi Singh had taken a stand to hold talks over the impasse either in New Delhi or Imphal. A state cabinet meeting held on Friday discussed the issue at length and made a decision to bring UNC to the negotiating table and end the 137-day long stir launched over the new district creation issue.

She had, earlier, stated that she is deeply concerned at the indefinite economic blockade imposed by the UNC on two National Highways.

February 7, 2017: Tripartite talks to end the over three-month-long economic blockade of a crucial highway in Manipur failed to make any headway.

The next tripartite talks will be held in a month's time, officials said.

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