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Kuki blockade affects life in Manipur; Dy. CM appeals to KSDC

IMPHAL, NOV 19(Correspondent)
Published on 19 Nov. 2012 11:53 PM IST
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An indefinite blockade imposed by Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) demanding creation of a Kuki state on Monday affected normal life in the hill and valley areas in Manipur.

KSDC has called for public blockade along national and state highways passing through Kuki inhabited areas of the state demanding a political dialogue with the Centre regarding their demand for creation of a Kuki state by slicing Kuki inhabited areas of Manipur and initiation of political dialogue with Kuki militants under tripartite SoO agreement.

The blockade which commenced from Saturday evening greatly affected normal activities as plying vehicles including national highways (NH-2 and NH-37) were blocked. Over 50 Imphal-bound loaded trucks coming from Dimapur stranded at Senapati before reaching Kuki dominated Kangpokpi area of Senapati district.

However, 11 inter-state buses and eight taxi service winger vehicles on Monday reached Imphal escorted by police and state security force.

Reports said blockade supporters in large number took to the streets along national highways along Imphal-Mao section of NH-2 from Kangpokpi to Kanglatombi and also from Tengnoupal to Moreh on the Indo-Myanmar section of NH-2 and blocked vehicles. No untoward incident was reported till filing of this report.

Reports said establishments and most of the oil pumps located in the valley districts of the state remained closed for the day due to exhausted fuel stocks. Minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution (CAFPD) however said there was enough stock of petrol, diesel and rice for onward distribution to the public.

In an interview with a local television network, CAFPD minister Moirangthem Okendro said there was enough stock of these items asserting that there was no need for worry for scarcity of these items.

He urged people not to  panic and avoid ‘panic buying” of petrol and diesel.  Meanwhile, Manipur deputy chief minister Gaikhangam who is currently looking after the charge of chief minister Monday appealed to KSDC to withdraw their ongoing agitation as “panic buying” has forced most of the fuel filling stations across the valley area to close on Monday.

“I believe KSDC will withdraw their agitation (blockade on the national and state highways) in the interest of the people,” Gaikhangam said, addressing to reporters Monday at his office chamber.

He expressed that misunderstanding may arise among different communities if agitation continues. Informing that state government has invited KSDC for a talk on Tuesday, 3.30 p.m, the home minister hoped that there would be positive response from agitating KSDC.

Regarding the demand for initiation of political dialogue with Kuki militant groups under SoO agreement, the home minister said he had brought up the matter with union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde during his recent visit to New Delhi.

“New Delhi is looking into the demands of Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United People’s Front (UPF), the two umbrella organisaitons of Kuki-based militant groups under Suspension of Operation agreement will start political dialogue and there was no question of Centre’s neglecting the demand of Kuki militant groups”, he informed.

However, he said union home minister was busy for the forthcoming Parliament session to be held from November 22 next. The ministry would be sending a delegation of officials of the ministry to Manipur to have consultation for initiating the political dialogue after Parliament session ended, he added.

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