The powerful Kuki group has reimposed an indefinite economic blockade of Imphal Valley. The Kangpokpi-based tribal organisation, Committee on Tribal Unity Sadar Hills Or CoTu, started the blockade in Manipur today.
CoTU said it decided to impose the indefinite blockade along National Highway-2 and 37 over the alleged indifferent attitude of the concerned authority in dispensing law and order in Kuki-Zo inhabited areas.
NH 2 connects Imphal with Dimapur in Nagaland and NH 37 links Imphal with Assam’s Silchar. Both highways are vital to Manipur to maintain surface communication with the rest of the country via Nagaland and Assam.
Volunteers were seen monitoring the movement of vehicles along the highway checking if any of them were carrying essential items.
CoTU instructed its volunteers to strictly enforce the economic blockade at various locations on both the highways.
It also stated that the committee has been agitating for a meaningful resolution on different aspects but “our demands have been consistently ignored”.
“The apparent status of the state indicates the total failure of the constitutional machinery propagated by fascist and lunatic power-mongers of the state,” it stated.
It also stated that the committee stands resolute in its endeavor for justice and any form of systematic subjugation will be dealt with firmly by the Kuki-Zo people.
The committee also prepared a roaster for duty to monitor the movement of essential vehicles along the highway.
Earlier last month, the tribal organisation threatened to launch an indefinite shutdown in the district if the Centre failed to immediately release all those arrested by central agencies.
The NH 2 had been blocked several times since the violence began on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
When Home Minister Amit Shah visited Manipur in May-end, he had requested groups like CoTU to lift the blockade, and they had complied.