Nagas warn of fresh action even as PM visits Manipur


New Delhi: The United Naga Council, which recently lifted over 100-day economic blockade of Manipur, Saturday warned of fresh action if the government “bifurcates” their land. The threat comes when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is on a day’s visit to Imphal.

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“The Nagas in Manipur will not accept any excuse and will do something about it if government tries to bifurcate the land which belongs to Nagas,” a UNC leader told IANS on phone on condition of anonymity.

A powerful bomb exploded in the Manipur’s capital of Imphal Wednesday just 50 metres away from the newly constructed City Convention Centre which Manmohan Singh is scheduled to inaugurate.

“What we are demanding is that our traditional land be respected and let us live where we belong. Nagas can live with any community but you cannot give our land to someone else,” said the leader.

He alleged that authorities are interested in conceding to the demands of Kukis, who are demanding a separate district.

“The policymakers are trying to create a homeland for Kukis but the land belongs to Nagas, not to Kukis,” the leader said in an assertive tone.

The state went through a gruelling economic blockade which was launched by the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee (SHDDC) Aug 1 for conversion of the Kuki tribal majority Sadar Hills area into a full-fledged district.

The Kukis lifted the blockade on two highways — Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati (NH39) and Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar (NH53) — on the 92nd day after the state government agreed to their demand for creating a district, a move opposed by the Nagas, who resorted to a counter blockade.

The UNC lifted its blockade temporarily Nov 28 ahead of the prime minister’s visit.

The three months long blockades led to severe shortage of essentials, including fuel, cooking gas cylinders and medicines.