Centre to remove blockade

Top Central Ministers, along with security officials, yesterady reviewed the prevailing situation in Manipur where a 75-day long economic blockade on National Highways has crippled normalcy in the state.

According to a PTI report, Home minister Rajnath Singh, defence minister Manohar Parrikar, finance ,minister Arun Jaitley, army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat, home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and other top officials discussed the situation in the North Eastern State.

The high level meeting discussed to find a way to reopen the blockade along the National Highway 2 and restore normalcy.

The top priority of the Central Government is now to reopen NH-2 which connects Manipur from Assam through Nagaland. While the other highway, NH-37, is partially reopened, the centre wants to reopen the NH-2 too as early as possible.

Around 20,000 Central security personnel have been sent to the North Eastern State keeping in view the security situation in the wake of violence following the economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC) on the National Highways since November 1.

In a stern message, the Centre had told the Manipur Government last month that it cannot escape responsibility for the “humanitarian crisis” arising out of the economic blockade by a Naga group and must work to end it, while making it clear that nobody will be allowed to take political advantage of the situation.

Home Minister Singh had written twice to Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh asking him to ensure reopening of the highway but it did not yield any result.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju too had visited the Congress-ruled Manipur as a central emissary on December 23, but the highway has not reopened yet.

Rijiju had said it was completely unacceptable to have such blockades in which thousands of people were suffering and both the Central and Manipur Governments will work together to end it. In his visit he said the State Government has not been able to end the blockade. It must end as soon as possible as law and order is the responsibility of the State Government. Nobody will be allowed to take political advantage out of a humanitarian crisis where common people are suffering.

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