Guwahati, Saturday, November 12, 2011
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Army against force to break blockade in Manipur
Raju Das
 SHILLONG, Nov 11 – Security forces deployed in Manipur have asserted that a political solution is the only way out of the ongoing blockade in that State and any use of force would only aggravate the situation.

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has warned of stern action against the agitators if the blockade is not called off on the two National Highways – Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati (NH 39) and Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar (NH 53) connecting the State capital.

It has been over 100 days that the blockade has been in place cutting off the State capital from the rest of the world leading to soaring prices and shortage of medicines and other emergency medical equipments.

“The security scenario in Manipur is under control as the agitators are unarmed and carrying out the agitation peacefully so far,” said a senior Army official, overseeing the Manipur security scenario, on condition of anonymity.

Having a totally different point of view from Manipur Chief Minister, he added, any strong arm tactics might backfire and would create further law and order problems.

“The use of force would only vitiate the situation, which at this juncture is very sensitive. The situation can be brought under control through a political solution,” the Army officer added.

The present blockade has been called by the United Naga Council (UNC) and the All Naga Students’ Association in Manipur (ANSAM) to protest Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Manipur Government’s agreement with Kuki leaders agreeing to carve out a Sadar Hills district.

Meanwhile, Assam Rifles DG Lt Gen Rameshwar Roy said that his men are bound to act accordingly as per the decision taken by the Unified Command in Manipur.

“We have no say in the matter and only act according to the decision taken by the Unified Command,” Roy said.

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