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Naga students to consider lifting of Manipur economic blockade

By Devaki

New Delhi, June 15 (ANI): The Naga Students Federation (NSF) on Monday said they would consider temporary suspension of the two-month long economic blockade of Manipur following a meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.

The students said they had decided to consider suspension of the blockade after Dr Singh agreed to look into their grievances with some seriousness.

"We told them to address the issue in the right perspective. The Prime Minister, the Home Minister was appealing to us again and again, please consider your decision to continue with blockade," said Kelhouneizo Yhome, an NSF leader.

"We have only assured him that we will take seriously his appeal and we will consider whatever we could after consulting our friends in Kohima," he added.

The NSF sought the withdrawal of forces from Naga-speaking areas of Manipur, lifting of curfew and withdrawal of arrest warrants.

"The demands are very clear, - the Manipur commandoes and Manipur Rifles and other state forces should be immediately withdrawn back to the valley from the Naga-speaking areas, because they have blocked all the roads leading to Naga areas by these Manipur commandoes and Manipur Rifles," said Yhome.

"They have been imposing curfew, they used to relax only for one-two hours during daytime and again re-impose the curfew. So, this needs be to immediately withdrawn and arrest warrants have been issued against some of our student leaders and civil society leaders by the Manipur government, that should be withdrawn," he added.

Earlier on Monday, the Central Government had said that it will use paramilitary forces to break the over two-month long economic blockade enforced by Naga groups to ensure supplies of essentials into the region.

Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said the Centre has decided to send security forces to lift the economic blockade by Naga groups in Manipur.

"The blockade would be removed all along NH-39 from Assam to Manipur," said Pillai.

The blockade had severely hit the supply of essential commodities to Manipur.

The blockade on the national highway followed Manipur Government's decision to ban Naga separatist leader Thuingaleng Muivah from visiting his ancestral village in the troubled State.

The Naga student unions have also been demanding a separate "Nagalim" comprising all Naga-dominated regions. (ANI)

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