Manipur: Kuki group reimposes blockade of NH-2, NH-37 leading to Imphal Valley
The blockade of the two crucial national highways could severely affect supply of goods and essentials to the Meitei-dominated Imphal Valley
Alleging blockade of essential goods by Meitei groups from reaching Kuki areas in hill districts, a Kuki group in Kangpokpi district of strife-torn Manipur, reimposed “complete economic blockade” of NH-2 and NH-37 in Kangpokpi and Jiribam districts respectively from Sunday midnight.
The blockade by Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU) of the two crucial national highways, one from Dimapur (Nagaland) to Imphal and the other from Karimganj (Assam) to Imphal, could severely affect supply of goods and essentials to the Meitei-dominated Imphal Valley.
“The economic blockade of the two national highways was imposed as Meitei groups are preventing essentials including medicines from reaching our areas. Only supply of medicines would be exempted by the blockades, which will continue till there is smooth movement of goods to Kuki areas,” said Ng. Lun Kipgen, media cell coordinator of COTU.
The Kuki group stated that despite removal of blockade of NH-2 in Kangpokpi in June following a request from union home minister Amit Shah, Meitei groups did not reciprocate and have imposed blockades on roads leading to the hill districts where Kukis are in majority, stopping the movement of essential goods.
On August 16, COTU had given a three-day ultimatum to the Centre and state government to ensure that the supply of essentials including medicines resume.
“Since that announcement some medicines were sent to Moreh in Tengnoupal (a Kuki-dominated district) under escort. Essentials would be allowed to move without security cover. We want the Centre to instruct the Manipur government to ensure that. We are compelled to do this. But this is the only leverage we have with the state government,” said Kipgen.
Manipur has witnessed ethnic clashes between Meitei and the tribal Kuki communities since May 3. The violence has claimed over 160 lives and displaced nearly 50,000.