Imphal: More than 800 goods laden trucks and other vehicles coming from neighbouring Nagaland are stranded at Mao Gate along National Highway 2 on the second day of an indefinite economic blockade in Manipur that began Monday.

The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM), All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM), Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) and its federal units had imposed the economic blockade demanding the Manipur government to convene a special session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly to table and discuss the proposed Autonomous District Councils Bill recommended by Hill Areas Committee (HAC).

The economic blockade was imposed following the failure of the state government to respond to their demands despite a 24-hour total shutdown across the hill districts on November 20.

Similar scenes were witnessed at Jiribam-Imphal road and Imphal-Moreh road, where movement of commercial vehicles remained disrupted.

In a meeting on Tuesday, the tribal student leaders have appealed the state government to do the needful and stop suppressing the students body by militarising along the highway to counter or suppress their movement, terming it uncalled for.

“We have called the attention of the state with several rounds of democratic agitations but the government remains indifferent to the issue. So, this is the only option left in order to stand and fight for our rights,” said ANSAM general secretary AC Thotso.

The student body also appealed the general population of the state to kindly understand them and extend their cooperation for securing the rights of the tribals in the state.

In a clarification letter to Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday, the six ADC caretakers have said that they do not sponsor in any form the ATSUM’s proposed economic blockade in connection with the HAC’s ADC Bill 2021 as alleged by certain individuals.

ATSUM president Putin Lupheng remarked, “Such clarification letter from the ADC caretakers are very unfortunate and it clearly showed that they are government agents.” 

Also read: Assam, Meghalaya team jointly visits disputed areas in Kamrup



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