The United Naga Council (UNC) has in an ultimatum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh threatened to resume the economic blockade on Manipur if the Centre does not take up the cause of the Naga people of Manipur.
The UNC and the All Naga Students Association of Manipur had from April 11 imposed a 69-day economic blockade on national highways 39 and 53 that connect Manipur capital Imphal to country beyond.
In a memorandum submitted to the PM on Monday, the UNC set a four-point demand. “We shall be forced to resume our temporarily suspended agitation (highway blockade) if New Delhi fails to respond within five days,” said UNC president Samson Remei.
The five-day ultimatum expires on July 31.
The UNC demand a judicial enquiry into the May 6 firing at Mao Gate (Manipur-Nagaland border) that killed two Naga students and injured more than 100 protestors.
It also demanded immediate withdrawal of Section 144 and ‘demilitarization’ of Naga-inhabited areas by removing the Indian Reserve Battalion and Manipur Police commandos.
Removal of “wanted” tag on Naga leaders and dissolution of the “undemocratically instituted autonomous district councils” are two other demands made by the Naga body.
Elections to these councils – Nagas term them toothless – were the trigger for the economic blockade. The militant National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) faction later ‘hijacked’ the issue with its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah making a futile attempt to visit his ancestral home in Manipur’s Ukhrul district.