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No respite for Manipur, ANSAM continues blockade of highways

PTI  Kohima, June 16, 2010
First Published: 14:38 IST(16/6/2010) | Last Updated: 16:37 IST(16/6/2010)

Despite the Naga Students' Federation lifting its economic blockade of a key national highway in Kohima, trucks were unable to reach Manipur on Wednesday as the All Naga Manipur Students' Association (ANSAM) remained stuck to its demand in the neighbouring state.

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The ANSAM last night announced that it would continue with its ongoing economic blockade on National Highways 39 and 53 till the Manipur government redressed its grievances --mainly, the conduct of the recently held Autonomous District Council (ADC) polls.

"We have no other option but to continue the on-going blockade much against our interests (sic) until the state government of Manipur comes to understand the issue rationally," the ANSAM's publicity wing said in a statement.

The latest stance would bring no respite for Manipur which is suffering from a severe shortage of essential commodities as its supply line is choked by the two-month-old blockade.

Vehicles were unable to reach Imphal from Nagaland, the police said, adding trucks were also not plying on the National Highway 53 (Silchar-Imphal) from the Assam side.

Four to five stranded goods-laden trucks, which left Dimapur last evening for Manipur following lifting of the blockade, had to park on the highway inside Nagaland, the officials said.

The ANSAM, along with other Naga frontal organisations of Manipur, had started an indefinite economic blockade of NH 39 on April 12 to protest against holding of ADC polls under the present ADC Act and demanded abrogation of the polls by the Manipur government.

Taking strong exception to arrest warrants issued against the presidents of ANSAM and the United Naga Council (UNC), the students body said no positive response was received from the Manipur government till date even as the Nagas had given five days to revoke the "wanted tag" which expired on June 13.

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