Imphal, May 30 (ANI): The All Manipur Rickshaw Drivers and Pullers Welfare Association (AMRDPWA) staged a protest rally in Imphal against the proposed visit of ethnic Naga leader Thuigaleng Muivah.
Scores of people from various parts of Manipur participated in Saturday's rally that was flagged off by MLA L. Nandakumar Singh.
As a mark of protest, the All Naga Students Association (ANSAM) has blocked the arterial National Highway 39 since April 11, literally cutting off Manipur.
The prolonged blockade has led to severe shortage of commodities, stoking hoarding, and has crippled life.
"As we belong to the poor labour class, the tensions caused by Muivah's proposed visit and the ongoing economic blockade have made us suffer beyond our tolerable limit now, " said Basanta Singh, Secretary of AMRDPWA.
"The blockade has greatly affected us, that is why our Rickshaw Drivers' Association has launched this rally in view of the severe problems faced by us like children face problems going to school and artificial scarcity of fuels and other essential commodities," said Shanta Singh, a rickshaw driver.
Earlier this month, the state government had prevented Muivah from visit his birthplace Somdal in Ukhrul District, fearing that it could stoke demand for inclusion of Naga dominated areas of Manipur in the proposed Nagalingam or Greater Nagaland.
The Central Government has, however, said that it is looking forward to having a second round of talks with National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) leadership in Nagaland to end the stalemate over Muivah's resolve to visit his birthplace.
The ensuing peace talks, to be held next week, will be the first of its kind in Nagaland during the discourse of 13 years of Naga peace process since all official dialogue between the two sides were held either in Delhi or abroad towards finding a honorable settlement to the long-drawn Naga political conflict. (ANI)