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Manipur Violence: Effect of Home Minister Amit Shah’s appeal, blockade removed from National Highway

Imphal. Following an appeal by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the Committee of Tribal Unity (COTU), a civil body organization based in the Kuki-dominated Kangpokpi district, on Monday lifted the blockade on National Highway 2. Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday appealed to these tribes to lift the blockade.

The Union Home Minister had tweeted, ‘It is my sincere appeal to the people of Manipur to remove the blockade on the Imphal-Dimapur, NH2 highway, so that food, medicines, petrol/diesel, and other essential goods can reach the people.’ Along with this, he had said, ‘I also request that civil society organizations take necessary steps to build a consensus. All of us together can restore normalcy in this beautiful state.

However, the COTU has opened the highway only for seven days and for some riders only. It has been said that the movement of trucks will be allowed from 10 am to 2 pm on the road considered the lifeline of the state and only central forces will be allowed to protect the vehicles.

Violent ethnic clashes in Manipur since May 3, many vehicles burnt
In Kangpokpi district, Kuki protestors blocked traffic on the highway. Violent ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur on 3 May and protesters torched various vehicles. Till now the government was supplying essential commodities through NH37 (Imphal-Silchar) amidst heavy security.

Only vehicles carrying essential commodities and medical supplies are allowed to ply on the roads.
In a statement, the COTU said, “As a good gesture of Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Kangpokpi, the blockade on the National Highway has been temporarily suspended for a period of seven days.” However, only vehicles carrying essential commodities and medical supplies will be allowed to ply on the roads. The statement issued by the “Information and Publicity Department” of the committee said, the movement of trucks will be limited between 10 am and 2 pm only.

COTU showed a soft attitude, said – If we are attacked…
This is done solely in support of the Centre’s ‘Peace Mission’ to address the “Kuki Political Issue”. He said that ‘if Kuki villages are attacked by armed Meiteis during the suspension, the committee will be forced to reconsider the matter. The COTU said the decision to suspend the blockade of the highway was taken on Sunday after extensive consultations on a number of issues with various civil society.

Tags: Home Minister Amit Shah, Manipur violence

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