From our Special Correspondent
SILCHAR, August 24: The indefinite ‘economic blockade’ called by North East People’s Organization (NEPO) from today was withdrawn on the assurance of the district and sub divisiol administration of Cachar and Lakhipur. As earlier stated, NEPO has to take the extreme decision for economic blockade in order to protest and also to create pressure on the agitating body Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit (JCILP) and the Government of Manipur for bringing an end to all sorts of physical and mental harassment of the non Manipuris living in that state for decades.
But, under the pretext of introduction of ILP, the agitating body on the frontline has targeted the non Manipuris dubbing them as ‘Mayang’ or foreigners. Pradip Kumar Dey, chief advisor of NEPO, said that no non indigenous person has any say against such a system. But the question turally arises about the indiscrimite targeting of non Manipuris who have been living in peace and maintaining coexistence with their Manipuri brothers. The unfortute part of all is that this is not the first time that the non Manipuris have been subjected to inhuman treatment.
Pradip Kumar Dey reminded in 2003, hundreds of these unfortute citizens were forced to leave their homes and lands and take shelter in Cachar. In Lakhipur alone, 35 families are camping with all sources of income blocked. They are virtually surviving on government doles. If such a situation is again repeated, this will have serious repercussion in Barak Valley and disturb the traditiol bond of friendship and brotherhood between the Manipuris and non Manipuris.
As the blockade drew thousands of people from Jirighat and other areas of Lakhipur sub division and even from Jiribam on the other side of river Jiri, Baranya Das, Additiol Deputy Commissioner, and T T D Daulagopu, SDO (Civil) Lakhipur, rushed to Jirighat and held talks with the leaders of NEPO to withdraw the blockade. They assured the leaders that the state government of Assam would take up the issue with Ibobi Government for taking effective steps to stop harassment of non Manipuris. Both the ADC and SDO sought 7 days time for finding out a solution to the problem.
On being insisted by the NEPO leaders on what ground they should withdraw the blockade, both ADC and SDO assured of a solution within the time given by them. It was felt by the administration of Cachar if the blockade was not withdrawn, it would seriously impact the social and economic life of Manipur in general, leading to tension and even conflict. But, the leaders of NEPO declared before the supporters of the blockade if no positive response came from the Manipur Government, they would be forced to go for more vigorous agitation.