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Manipur blockade: Farmers hit hard
Published on 7 Jun. 2010 12:59 AM IST
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It has been two months now that Manipur has been cut off from the rest of the country due to an economic blockade imposed by groups of Naga students of Manipur.
They are demanding greater autonomy in the district councils. However, the blockade was intensified after Manipur refused entry to Naga rebel leader Th Muivah.
Muivah, camping near Kohima for a month, has moved to another border apparently trying to enter into Manipur through Jessami.
Manipur government has already started building up forces there so it is obvious that unless Muivah changes his mind, the situation in Manipur is unlikely to change.
“He may be trying from Viswema to Pfutsero to Phek and from Phek to Jesami. So, at Jessami we have already sent adequate number of state force. If he wants to stay in Nagaland he can stay at Hebron where there is designated camp of NSCN(IM),” said Ibobi Singh, CM Manipur.
“We got some information from MHA that Muivah has already been been instructed,” he added.
Two hundred police commandos and three companies of army and paramilitary forces have taken position to prevent the Naga rebel leader from trying to enter Manipur where he is still wanted for criminal cases, reported NDTV.
The ceasefire between NSCN (IM) and GOI is applicable only within the state of Nagaland.
Meanwhile the valley and the hills are choking with no fuel,cooking gas and scarce essential commodities. Healthcare has been severely hit. Agriculture has been affected as well.
Last year the monsoon was delayed, destroying crop. This year the rain is on time but it’s not helping the farmers of Manipur because of a severe fuel scarcity. They need fuel to till the land and because of the road blockade that is not available. Even fertilizers are not coming on time.
The road blockade is affecting rural Manipur more than the urban and the effect is going to be longtime.
Surjit Singh, a famer, has been purchasing diesel at ninety five rupees a litre and he needs atleast twelve litres of diesel everyday to run his power tiller. He is not sure how long he can continue paying this price.
“Last season was so bad we thought this season we will make up but there is no fuel, whatever is there is very expensive and urea hasn’t arrived, its becoming difficult,” he said.
The government so far has failed to break the blockade, deepening the food and commodity crisis in the entire state.
“We are trying to bring more essential commodities through NH 53. The road condition is not good, the bridges are weak, even then we are trying,” the CM added. While the Centre must intervene and reign in the NSCN (IM), it’s eventually the responsibility of the state government to find a solution.

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