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Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, September 30, 2011
First Published: 18:52 IST(30/9/2011)
The Centre on Friday appealed to the agitating groups to withdraw the economic blockade of two national highways passing through Manipur, saying their demands were being looked into by the government. Home minister P Chidambaram said Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh has constituted adistrict reorganisation commission to look into the demands of the agitating groups.”The chief minister has requested them to be patient till the report of the commission comes. My appeal to both the groups is to wait for the report to come and withdraw the blockade,” he told a press conference.The Sadar Hills District Demand Committee launched the economic blockade on Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati NH 53 and the Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar NH 39 since August 1 demanding conversion of the Kuki-majority Sadar hills area in Naga-majority Senapati district into a full-fledged district.On the other hand, United Naga Committee, opposing the Kukis’ demand for granting district status to Sadar Hills, launched a counter-economic blockade on the same two national highways on August 21.
Asked about reports which suggested that market prices of most commodities had soared in Manipur to an extent that petrol was being sold in black markets at Rs 120 a litre, the home minister admitted that “prices have pushed up” but said the government has taken steps to bring essential commodities in convoys of trucks and was bringing 1000-1100 trucks to Manipur every week.
“These are sensitive issues which have to be resolved at local level. The chief minister is taking steps… In the northeast even creation of a district becomes sensitive…,” he said.