UNC lifts longest ever economic blockade
Govt to release UNC leaders and withdraw charges
KANGPOKPI | Mar 19
The newly sworn in BJP government in Manipur, as promised, ended the longest ever economic blockade by persuading UNC to lift it from tonight during tripartite talk held at Senapati town.
A four point agreement signed after a nearly 5-hour long negotiation said the UNC has agreed to lift the blockade while the state government agreed to release the two UNC leaders from jail without any condition and also drop the cases against all Naga leaders in connection to the blockade.
The meeting was presided over by Satyendra Garg, joint secretary, home affairs (Northeast in-charge). Additional chief secretary (home) J Suresh Babu and works commissioner K Radhakumar Singh signed the agreement on behalf of Manipur government while the UNC general secretary S. Milan led the Naga team in signing the agreement.
UNC was represented by the core committee including former president Paul Leo, Samson Remei, Lohrii Adani, Seth Shatsang, president ANSAM and L M Tabitha, president NWU.
The talk began at 1.35 pm and concluded at around 5.10pm.
Garg described the outcome as positive.
Responding to a query on likely rollback of the new district, Garg said that it was not for him to comment on this issue but all the grievances, mainly the point of view of the UNC regarding the creation of new districts, were placed on the table today, and each of it will be considered.
“The 20th night of March 2017 will be a new beginning in Manipur,” stated Garg expressing his happiness.
Suresh Babu stated that there are two grievances of the UNC. Firstly, the earlier agreement i.e. four MoUs signed between the government of Manipur and the UNC, were not respected, and secondly, the Nagas were not consulted before creating the new districts.
He continued that the government of Manipur has taken note of the grievances of the UNC and acknowledged the fact that there is an agreement which says that the stakeholders will be consulted and in connection with the second grievances every areas of the new districts is not a concerned for the UNC but in particular Kangpokpi and Jiribam district.
He further said, “We asked the UNC to identify the core issue where it needs to sit together with all the stakeholders which the UNC agreed and respected what the state government has said while adding that we also agreed to sit together in future with all the stakeholders and find a solution to the problems.”
Suresh Babu said that once the UNC has lifted the blockade, the state government will also release the jailed UNC leaders and also close all pending cases related to economic blockade as requested by the UNC.
Milan said that the Centre as well as the state government have accommodated the sentiment of the Naga people and therefore we agreed to lift the blockade.
On the demand for rollback of district creation, Milan said UNC in on the right track and everything will be resolved amicably.
He further said grievances of the UNC were recognized as there was non-adherence to the four MoUs and the government of India’s assurance on the matter while the Manipur government agreed to start consultation with all stakeholders to redress the same.
He continued that to create conducive environment for the democratic process of consultation and dialogue the UNC has decided to lift the economic blockade while the Government of Manipur will unconditionally release the arrested UNC leaders and close all pending cases related to economic blockade against the Naga tribes and students leaders.
He further said that the next tripartite talks will be held within a month’s time at a political level while appreciating the initiative and new approach of the Government of Manipur to address the core issue at hand.