Barely 24 hours after an MoU was inked to carve out a Sadar Hills district, comprising areas dominated by Kuki tribes, from Naga-dominated Senapati district, home minister P Chidambaram flew in on a damage control exercise on Wednesday.
The official reason was inauguration of a hospital and a mini secretariat in Senapati. Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh accompanied Chidambaram.
The pro-Sadar Hills district creation groups had on Tuesday called off their blockade of NH39 and NH53 - Manipur's lifelines - after 92 days.
But the United Naga Council and All Naga Students Association of Manipur refused to call off their counter-blockade imposed since August 21. Nagas consider Senapati their ancestral domain and are opposed to its bifurcation.
Chidambaram met representatives of Naga groups who, however, vowed to intensify their stir. Officials declined to divulge the outcome of the 30-minute meeting, but the home minister is believed to have appealed to the Nagas to call off their blockade.
Later, at a public rally, Chidambaram said, "There cannot be any problem that cannot be solved through talks."