Vehicles queue up for fuel rations in Manipur

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Imphal, May 14 (ANI): Hundreds of vehicles queued up outside filling stations in Imphal on Thursday during an economic blockade called by the tribal Naga community.

The indefinite economic blockade has been called by the All Naga Students Association (ANSAM) and All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur, to protest Manipur's decision not to allow separatist Naga leader, Thuingaleng Muivah, to visit his hometown.

In the wake of the economic blockade, Manipur's Food and Civil Supply Minister Y Erabot said that fuel and other essential items would be procured from Silchar in Assam.

The authorities have been mandated to dispense petrol and diesel through 14 selected filling stations in five districts of the state.

The filling stations opened from 7.30 am to 4.30 pm.

Manipuris, who are bearing the brunt of the agitation, expressed their displeasure.

"We feel very discontented with this. By creating such inconveniences and suffering to common people, they will not be able to achieve their goal. We are not happy about it," said Nabakumar Singh, a Manipuri.

Earlier, violent clashes between Muivah's supporters and security forces at the border town of Mao resulted in the death of two women protestors and left over 50 others injured.

The NSCN-IM had agreed to a ceasefire in August 1997 and launched a peace process with the Central Government to bring an end to the longest-running insurgency in India.

The rebel group has participated in several rounds of talks with central officials since the start of the ceasefire.

But talks between the two sides have not made progress over the rebels" main demand of unification and eventual independence of Naga-dominated areas in northeast India. (ANI)

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