Manipur blockade lifted after deal with UNC leaders

Haryana farmers on their way to a Jat agitation rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi

Haryana farmers on their way to a Jat agitation rally at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi

UNC had imposed the economic blockade against Manipur since Nov 1, as a protest against the creation of seven new districts by the Ibobi Singh led government.

The United Naga Council (UNC) received a written invitation on Saturday evening from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India for tripartite talks involving the Manipur Government, the UNC and the Government of India representatives.

Over four-month-old Manipur economic blockade will be lifted from midnight tonight, said a joint statement after tripartite talks.

Manipur has been reeling under the blockade imposed by the UNC on the two national highways connecting Manipur with Assam, Nagaland and Myanmar since November 2016. "The Government of Manipur agrees to start consultation with all the stakeholders to redress the same".

The Manipur govt has also agreed to release the arrested UNC leaders without any conditions and cases against leaders related to the economic blockade will be closed.

Apart from the UNC leaders, All Naga Students' Association's Manipur unit president Seth Shatsang, Naga Women's Union president LM Tabitha were also present in the meeting.

In his very first cabinet meeting, new Chief Minister N Biren Singh had discussed the matter and had appealed before the UNC to end the impasse.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in Imphal during an election meeting that the blockade would be lifted within 48 hours of the formation of a BJP government in Manipur. But the UNC made it clear that the blockade would continue until the government held talks with it over its demands. A state cabinet meeting held on Friday discussed the issue at length and made a decision to bring UNC to the negotiating table and end the 137-day long stir launched over the new district creation issue.

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