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Mar 20, 2017 11:40 AM IST | Source: PTI

Manipur economic blockade lifted after 5 months

The five-month-long economic blockade in Manipur was lifted tonight after successful talks among the Centre, the state government and the Naga groups.

The blockade was imposed by the United Naga Council on
November 1 to protest against the creation of seven new
districts by the erstwhile Okram Ibobi Singh-led Congress

government in the state.

The blockade on two national highways -- NH-2 and NH-37
-- has led to steep rise in prices of essential commodities

and severely affected the normal life in the state.

It had become a major issue in the recently held assembly

polls in the state.

Appreciating the "first step of the newly formed
government" led by the BJP, Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla
said the lifting of the blockade "will usher in an era of

peace and prosperity" in the northeastern state.

Chief Minster Biren Singh said the lifting of the
blockade was "just the beginning" and that his government was
trying to fulfil the promises Prime Minister Narendra Modi had

made to the people of the state.

"Our effort is to make it (lifting of blockade)
successful. It is just the beginning. The word was given by
honorable Prime Minister Modiji to the people of Manipur
during the election campaign. We are trying to fulfil his

words," he told news channel NDTV.

Earlier in the day, a joint statement, issued after the
tripartite talks held at the Senapati district headquarters,
stated that there would be "unconditional release of the
arrested UNC leaders and all cases related to the economic
blockade against the Naga tribe leaders and student leaders

will be closed".

It had said that the blockade would be lifted from

midnight today.

The statement was signed by Joint Secretary Satyendra
Garg of the Union Home Ministry, Additional Chief Secretary
(Home) J Suresh Babu and Commissioner (Works) Radhakumar Singh
of the Manipur government and UNC general secretary S Milan

and All Naga Students Association president Seth Shatsang.

The tripartite talks were held first on February 7 in
Imphal for ending the blockade, but they had failed to make
any headway as the UNC refused to allow the seven new

districts to be carved out.

The stakeholders had earlier met in Delhi on February 4
and the Centre had expressed hope that the blockade would end


The joint statement said the next round of tripartitetalks would be held within a month at political level.
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