Imphal, Feb 11: Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Saturday asked the Centre to outlaw the United ga Council (UNC). In an hour-long meeting on Saturday morning, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) took the decision to outlaw the UNC.
The UNC is charged with imposing indefinite economic blockade since November 1, 2016 causing hardships to the people. The Centre has been trying to bring about a negotiated settlement between the UNC and the Manipur government by holding tripartite talks. In its latest stand the UNC said that it will continue the blockade. Quoting Home Ministry sources media reports said that the centre shall not hold talks with the UNC if it continues the blockade. Briefing reporters on Saturday Congress spokesperson Khumukcham Joykishan said: “During the blockade some persons were killed and wounded in ambushes. Some trucks were also torched. People are asking why the UNC should not be declared as an unlawful organisation”. Explaining the inordite delay Joykishan said that the state government was waiting for the outcome of the tripartite talks. He further said that the ruling Congress is seeking cooperation from all sections of people.
He said, “The NDA government has assured of all assistance to end the blockade. We sincerely hope that the Centre shall extend meaningful cooperation now.”
The UNC called the blockade to protest against the creation of seven new districts. Both the BJP and the Congress have been passing the buck on the issue with an eye to the upcoming elections.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that law and order being a state issue the Centre cannot intervene without initiatives from the state government. He said that adequate security forces had been sent to Manipur. However state government officials said that though 60 companies of paramilitary forces were sought just 29 companies were sent. The Manipur High Court has been issuing directives to the government officials to ensure free traffic of the trucks and oil tankers. UNC President Gaidon Kamei and Publicity Secretary S. Stephen have been in judicial custody since November 25. During detention they were allowed to take part in the February 3 failed talks in Delhi. (IANS)