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Nagas in Imphal fleeing to hills
Pamreiso Shimray Mao Gate, May 9 (NPN):
Published on 10 May. 2010 1:08 AM IST
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Nagas residing in Imphal are fleeing to the hills fearing escalation of tension in Manipur, following blockade and counter-blockade imposed by various organizations supporting or opposing the visit of NSCN (IM) general secretary Th. Muivah’s visit to his native village Somdal in Ukhrul.
“The Nagas settlers in various localities of the state’s capital have fled their homes, and this has been going on ever since the news broke out about Muivah’s visit to Manipur,” Naga Mothers Union Manipur (NWUM) president, Grace Shatsang, told this correspondent over the phone.
NWUM, alleged that Nagas were prevented from leaving Imphal . “Many of them were stopped by unidentified miscreants and forced to return to Imphal,” she said.
The reports of Naga fleeing the valley was also confirmed by Imphal-based Zeliangrong Interim Body (ZIB), formed to organize a new apex organization for Zeliangrongs in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam.
“Many Nagas living in the state’s capital have fled their homes on their own apprehension and volition.” Ashinpou Gangmei, a social worker and ZIB member, said.
He however asserted that “there is no threat from Meitei communities.”
Sources said many Nagas mostly residing in Nagaram, Poumai Colony, Checkon and Tangkhul Avenues have fled a day after the All Manipur United Club Organisation (AMUCO) called off the 48-hour statewide blockade for public convenience on May 7.
The bandh comes close on the heels of an indefinite economic blockade imposed on both the National Highways (39 and 53) by the All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur (ansam) in protest against holding of the Manipur District Council election scheduled this month.
Bus services to the hill districts including Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Chandel and Senapati resumed Saturday. However, it was informed that only few passenger buses ply between Imphal and Naga-dominated districts.
The bus transport body, however, stated the service will be suspended from May 10 citing non-availability of fuels.
The state has also been reeling under acute shortage of essential commodities with prices skyrocketing.
In a local news channel ISTV on Friday, different valley-based organizations have threatened to “resort their own course of action” if the blockade on both the National Highways were not lifted.
In a press statement given to local media in Imphal, the valley-based organizations said the “Government of India and Nagaland” would be held responsible for any “unwanted circumstances” arising out of the prevailing situation.
The United Naga Council, an apex body of the Nagas in Manipur, had earlier appealed for “safe passage of Nagas” moving to their village in the hills.
Meanwhile, the Zeliangrong civil societies based in Manipur has appealed Muivah to include the Tamenglong district in his visit itinerary. This was reported in Dicham, a local daily published in Tamenlong, on Friday.

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