IMPHAL, Nov 19 – The Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) sponsored indefinite blockade on National and State Highways in Kuki areas of Manipur has hit normal life in the State. The blockade has severely affected the inter-State transport system disrupting the transport system between the five hill district headquarters and the State capital for the second day today.
The KSDC called the blockade since Saturday evening demanding creation of a Kuki State as they felt Kukis are “neglected” in the present set up in Manipur.
Like during last year’s blockade called by Naga organisations, long queues have begun for fuel. But most oil pumps here exhausted their petrol stock in the afternoon today jacking blackmarket price of petrol to Rs 90 a litre.
Security forces escorted more than two dozen passenger buses to Imphal from Senapati but more than 100 goods-laden trucks were still stranded at the Naga dominated Senapati town, 60 km north of Imphal along NH 2 and Jiribam town, 222 km west of here along NH 37.
Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam speaking to media on the sideline of the 95th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at Congress Bhavan, said that the government will provide necessary security escorts for the movement of goods trucks.
He also informed that the government will formally invite the agitators for a talk to bring a solution. The State Government is arranging the meeting with the KSDC in Imphal tomorrow.
Gaikhangam, who was in New Delhi to apprise the demands of the KSDC to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shindhe, returned here on Sunday and held a series of meetings with senior Cabinet Ministers to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, claiming that the public blockade is “effective”, KSDC general secretary H Benjamin Mate told this reporter that they will not suspend the agitation until and unless the Government of India gives a written assurance that the process of political dialogue with Kukis would begin.
He warned that the KSDC is ready to intensify the agitation from tomorrow by shutting down government offices and educational institutions in the Kuki inhabited areas.