Nagas call 72-hour long shutdown in Manipur

     The All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM) and the United Naga Council (UNC) have given a call for a 72-hour-long shutdown here in protest over alleged suppression of their rights by the Manipur Government. Consequent to the shutdown call, people crowded markets to buy essential needs. Bimola Devi, a professor at Manipur University, expressed her displeasure over the shutdown call given by the Nagas. "It is very unfortunate, and, I think, people of Manipur, not only the valley people, but all the people in the hill areas of Manipur, are going to suffer like anything when essential commodities are not available," said Devi. However, the Nagas said essential emergency services like hospitals, electricity, fire-service, water supply, postal and telecom would be exempted from the blockade. A good number of locals, including intellectuals, blamed the state administration for the present impasse. "But for quite long time the state government was not in the picture but only in recently why they are coming to the picture. So, therefore, I think, I don't see any degree of transparency in the working of the government," said Prof. N Joykumar Singh of Manipur University. The Nagas residing in the districts of Manipur that skirt the Nagaland state are demanding for the Sixth Schedule in the hills districts. In the month of April, the Nagas launched an economic blockade that paralyzed life for 68 days in demand for against the Manipur government's decision to hold district council elections under the existing provisions of the District Council Act, 2008 and ignoring the demands of the tribal people. Above all, the Nagas are angry over a Manipur Government directive banning the entry of Thuingaleng Muivah, General Secretary of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) from visiting his native village in Senapati district.

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