New Delhi: Taking a tough stand, the Centre on Monday decided to send security forces to remove the 65-day-old blockade by Naga groups of the two national highways, which has created a severe shortage of essential commodities in Manipur.
“We have decided to send Central forces to remove the blockade,” home secretary G K Pillai told PTI.
National Highways 39 (Imphal-Dimapur) and 53 (Imphal-Silchar), passing through Nagaland and connecting Manipur, have been blocked by different Naga groups since 11 April to protest Manipur government’s refusal to allow NSCN leaders T Muivah’s entry into Manipur to visit his ancestral home.
Pillai said that the chief secretaries of Nagaland and Manipur will meet on Wednesday to review the situation there.
The economic blockade has pushed Manipur on the verge of a breakdown with stocks of all essentials commodities, including baby food and life saving drugs, almost drying up.
The All Naga Students’ Association (ANSAM) had launched the blockade to protest holding of elections to six autonomous district councils in the Hills which, it alleged, were given not enough power to carry out development works.
The blockade was intensified after the state refused entry to the NSCN (IM) general secretary on 3 May, hitting regular supply of essential commodities.
Before the blockade, between 300 to 400 trucks carrying essential commodities were plying daily on the two national highways.