Loaded trucks stranded between Senapati due to the economic blockade. image courtesy:KanglaOnline

The Manipur economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council nearly five month ago would be lifted from midnight today, said an official statement after the talks among the Centre, the state government and the Naga groups.

The joint statement issued after the tripartite talks, held at the Senapati district headquarters, said there would be “unconditional release of the arrested UNC leaders and all cases related to the economic blockade against the Naga tribe leaders and the student leaders will be closed.”

The blockade was imposed by the UNC on November 1 to protest against the creation of seven new districts by erstwhile O Ibobi Singh-led Congress government in the state.

As per the agreement, the state government will unconditionally release UNC President Gaidon Kamei and its publicity secretary Stephen Lamkang, who were arrested for their alleged roles in violence during the blockade, and also close all cases against Naga leaders.

Manipur has been reeling under indefinite economic blockade of the NH 2 and 37 by the UNC in protest against the creation of Sadar Hills and Jiribam into full fledged districts by the state’s erstwhile Congress government.

The Tripartite talk between the representatives of the government of India, Govt of Manipur and the representatives of the United Naga Council was held at DRDA hall, at Senapati district head quarter.

The Manipur govt was represented by Additional Chief Secretary, Suresh Babu and Commissioner (Home) Radha Kumar while the government of India is represented by Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) North East incharge, Satyender Garg.

From the side of the United Naga Council (UNC) former presidents Paul Leo, Samson Remei, Lohrii Adani, General Secy. of UNC S. Milan, ANSAM President Seth Shatsang and NWU President LM Tabitha attended the triangular talk.

Earlier Joint Secy to MHA, NE incharge Satyender Garg had said that the result of the talk was positive. The UNC representatives did not immediately announced to lift the blockade but held meeting with other members of the UNC at its headquarter. After around 30 minutes the UNC’s spokesperson announced that they had decided to lift the blockade with immediate effect.

Details of the condition put on could not be known at the moment.

In December, Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang had also sought the intervention of both the Centre and Manipur government in securing the lives and property of Naga people in the Imphal valley of Manipur.