Manipuris rush to stock commodities ahead of 20-day blockade call

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Imphal, Aug.3 (ANI): A day ahead of an announcement stating that an economic blockade would be imposed for 20 days, beginning Wednesday (August 4), residents in Manipur are rushing to local markets to buy essential commodities and stock them.

The announcement has been made by the United Naga Council (UNC), which said that the blockade would be imposed along the two National Highways leading to Manipur.eople lined up their vehicles in front of petrol pumps to refuel their vehicles even as some vendors sold bottles of the fuel on roads.

Manipur suffered two months of blockade by Naga groups earlier this year and the people were disappointed with the news of a new blockade.

"Everyone including students and day-to-day wage earners normally face lots of problems during shutdowns. We are against it," said Onieu, a student.

The earlier blockade had dried up supplies in the state and petrol prices more than doubled, while food prices had soared and medicines were scarce.

"Already 68 economic blockades have been imposed in the State. People, especially those below the poverty line, suffer during blockade due to price rise in essential commodities," said Brojen Singh, a local resident.

Paramilitary personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been deployed to escort goods-laden vehicles safely on NH-39 to Manipur.

The economic blockade called by the All Naga Students Association (ANSAM) and the United Naga Council (UNC) since April 2, 2010, had all but halted the movement of essential commodities to the landlocked state, and the local residents had to endure major hardships, with the state cut off from the rest of the country.

Although the economic blockade was lifted recently, Manipur is still reeling under acute shortage of petroleum products, LPG cylinders and other essential commodities due to a boycott call given by operators of tankers and other freight trucks.

The united Naga Council has threatened to impose the blockade from Wednesday (Aug. 04) along the NH -39 (Imphal-Dimapur) and NH-53 (Imphal-Jiribam). (ANI)

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