This Article is From Dec 22, 2016

50-Day Manipur Blockade Cripples Life, Nagas Demand President's Rule: 10 Points

Passengers travelling to Nagaland from Manipur were stranded as vehicles were being burnt by arsonists.

With days to go before Christmas, life remains crippled in Manipur due to a 50-day economic blockade, protests and violence on highways following the state government's decision of creation of seven new districts. As Nagas demanded the imposition of President's Rule in the state, curfew was relaxed in parts of state capital Imphal for nine hours today. Prices of essential commodities have been have been very high for almost two months and the ban on mobile Internet since Sunday's violence has hit cashless transactions in the days of cash crunch.

Here are the 10 developments in this story:

  1. After two days of protests and violence, Imphal valley, where 30 vehicles bound were set ablaze on Sunday, was calm during the nine-hour relaxation of curfew.

  2. But tension remained as the Naga Students Federation announced its decision to impose a "total blockade" on all Imphal-bound vehicles, including passenger and goods carriers.

  3. There is acute scarcity of essential items in Imphal valley, where the dominant Meitei community lives. Locals say most fuel stations in Imphal are running dry and petrol is being sold in grey market at Rs 200 a litre.

  4. The Centre has rushed around 4,000 paramilitary personnel to Manipur in the wake of violence. It has also asked the Manipur government to send a report on the action taken to stop the violence.

  5. The economic blockade in Manipur, which will cross 50 days on Wednesday, had been imposed by the United Naga Council - the top group of the Naga tribe in Manipur. The blockade has snapped the National Highway-2 in the stretch between Imphal and Dimapur and the Imphal-Jiribam stretch of National Highway 37.

  6. The blockade was declared by the United Naga Council on November 1 after the Manipur government's decision to make Sadar Hills and Jiribam into full-fledged districts.

  7. The bifurcation of seven of the state's 9 districts to create 7 new districts has worsened matters. Five of the seven bifurcated districts are located in the hills and some of them are dominated by Nagas.

  8. The Tankhul Naga Long, the top body of the Tankhul Nagas -- the largest Naga clan in Manipur - has demanded Presidents' Rule in the state and urged the state's Naga villages to prepare for any eventuality.

  9. The United Naga Council, which formally met Home Minister Rajnath Singh to demand President's Rule, alleged that the Manipur government made the decision to create new states without consulting the Nagas, who stand to lose their ancestral land. They also claim it is attempt to divide the Naga people by merging their lands with non-Naga areas.

  10. The Nagas claim the creation of seven districts is a ploy for electoral gains by the state's Congress government led by Okram Ibobi Singh. Assembly polls will be held in Manipur next year.