50 days of Manipur blockade

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Imphal: 
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As the highway blockade in Manipur imposed by Naga student union enters its 50th day, people are finding it difficult to cope with rising food prices. The Naga students' union wants greater autonomy for the hill districts and that NSCN leader Muivah be allowed to visit the hills. But it is a shocking state of affairs in Manipur and questions as to why the blockade isn't attracting more attention.

Business is as usual in Imphal's busy daily market despite the economic blockade. That's because there is adequate local produce to cater to local need. What's hurting though is the rising price of fuel and the soaring price of commodities related to fuel.

Onion and Potato are selling at Rs 22 for a kilogram while Tomato at Rs 40. Rice is available at Rs 30 to 40, and a kilogram of sugar is selling at Rs 46.

The economic blockade has now been going on for 50 days. The longest blockade on these highways imposed by the same groups was in 2005, which went on for 52 days.

The blockade, which is on both the highways connecting Manipur, was meant to press for greater autonomy for the hill districts, but was intensified when the Manipur government refused militant outfit NSCN (IM)'s chief to enter the state.

Having held the district council elections which had actually spurred the blockade the government must now seek desperate ways of breaking the deadlock with pressure groups. 

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