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Pillai, Pandey in Imphal
Published on 12 May. 2010 1:11 AM IST
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Union home secretary G.K. Pillai and government of India’s Interlocutor for the Naga talks, R.S. Pandey arrived Imphal Tuesday afternoon by a special flight from New Delhi.
On arrival, the two called on chief minister O. Ibobi Singh where the prevailing situation in Manipur arising out of the proposed visit of NSCN (I-M) leader Th. Muivah was discussed. Later in the evening they attended a high level meeting with the Manipur cabinet including top civil, police and military officials chaired by Ibobi Singh at his official bungalow which was attended by state chief Secretary, DS Poonia, GOC of 57 mountain division, Maj Gen DS Hooda, state DGP, Y Joykumar besides police and other security officers.
Home Secretary GK Pillai met Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and chalked out a broad strategy to get urgently supplies of essentials into the state in the wake of the economic blockade enforced by Naga groups, officials said.
A government spokesperson said Pillai was sent to Imphal under express instructions from the prime minister to help break the deadlock with Manipur reeling under an acute food crisis due to the blockade. “Several things were discussed, but the priority was to get supplies of food and medicines to Manipur restored immediately,” the official said. “Under no circumstances shall Manipur be allowed to suffer any longer and Pillai assured all central help in breaking the deadlock,” the official said.
Pillai is understood to have asked the army to help escort trucks carrying essentials via National Highway No.53 connecting Assam with Manipur - the highway is generally not used by truckers as the road condition is not good, besides militant groups are active in the area.
It was also learnt that R.S Pandey had urged Ibobi to review the decision of banning Muivah from visiting his native village Somdal in Ukhrul district.
Sources said Pillai and Pandey would arrive Kohima Wednesday to meet civil societies. They will meet Muivah at Viswema and likely to meet the displaced people at Kisama. Meanwhile, bodies of the two youth who were shot dead on Thursday were received by the NMA on Tuesday. The funeral service would be held at Mao gate, Wednesday.
Manipur government will pay ex-gratia to the family members of the two students killed during police firing in Mao gate last Thursday besides compensation to those injured. This was decided at a cabinet meeting held here Tuesday, informed IFCD minister N. Biren, spokesperson of the SPF government.
The cabinet held the meeting prior to the arrival of union home secretary G.K. Pillai and government of India’s Interlocutor to the Naga peace talks R.S. Pandey at Imphal.
Security forces were clearing up barricades at several points along the NH-39 from Senapati to Maram by protestors demanding withdrawal of police from Naga inhabited areas and lifting of prohibitory orders in Mao town. On Monday, the road from Mayangkhang to Senapati Bazar was cleared by using bulldozers and JCB. “We have so far cleared the road upto Senapati Bazar and security forces started advancing further to reach Mao. The entire stretch of the road is likely to be cleared by tomorrow,” a police officer here in Imphal said. Stretch of the Imphal-Mao section of the NH-39 has been totally blocked.
Meanwhile, N. Biren Monday claimed that the Army has cleared the barricades of boulders and trees put up across several points on NH-39 up to Senapati.
To a question, Biren after the cabinet meeting on Monday said that chief minister O Ibobi, during his recent meeting with the Union Home Minister, Defence Minister and the Finance Minister, hinted that the State government would consider lifting the ban on Muivah’s entry to Manipur if he abandoned the demand of greater Nagaland and sovereignty, reports The Sangai Express. And if Muivah’s homecoming was devoid of any political agenda such as the integration of Naga inhabited areas for greater Nagaland, due arrangement could be made to receive him at Mao Gate with the people. If this had been the case, then the state government’s stance on Muivah’s visit to Manipur might have been otherwise.
Biren also conveyed that the Manipur DGP was informed by his Nagaland counterpart not to send vehicles of Manipur to or through Nagaland in view of the situation prevailing in the neighbouring State. At this, Manipur has asked the Government of India to allow passage of Manipur vehicles through Nagaland with police or para-military escorts.

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