Guwahati: Cyclist Sharatchandra Singh, 17, and his teammates were among thousands stranded after the Naga Students' Federation (NSF) blocked the movement of Imphal-bound vehicles through Nagaland after violent anti-economic blockade protests by the Meitei community on December 18.
"We are stressed over the economic blockade. Our parents are worried and we have no idea when we would reach home. We are like homeless people," Mr Singh, who recently won a national cyclist meet in Kerala, said.
But after weeks of despair, there seems to be hope for people like Mr Singh and his teammates to head home as passenger bus services to Imphal from Guwahati have resumed. Earlier this week, nearly 1,000 trucks reached the Manipuri capital with essential goods after the two-month long economic blockade had crippled the state. Even the ban on mobile internet was been lifted in the Imphal valley on Saturday.
"We had come for medical treatment on December 14 but were stranded due to the blockade," said Syed Julfiqar Ali, a passenger to Imphal waiting at Guwahati's Inter State Bus Terminal.
However, this comes at a time when Naga agitators have vowed to intensify their protest in Manipur's Naga dominated areas.
"Despite NSF lifting up its restriction vehicular movement, the United Naga Council's blockade continues. Such long bandhs are inhuman. We couldn't stay in touch with our families as WhatsApp was down for 12 days," said Jiten Singh, chief advisor of the United Manipuri Association of Assam, and added that these organisations have certain responsibilities which they cannot overlook.