DIMAPUR: The Southern Angami Public Organisation (SAPO) in Nagaland, on Thursday, decided to temporarily suspend its indefinite NH-2 blockade under its jurisdiction against Manipur.  

The blockade, spearheaded by the Southern Angami Youth Organisation (SAYO) on the lifeline of Manipur, was called on March 21 demanding withdrawal Manipur police forces from Kezoltsa area along Nagaland-Manipur border. 

SAPO president Kevipodi Sophie and general secretary Swelul Pucho, in a release, said the decision to suspend the blockade was unanimously taken following discussion with its governing body and frontal organisations on Thursday. 

The SAPO said the decision was based on Tenymi Peoples’ Organisation’s (TPO) request to it to lift the blockade and to the Manipur government to withdraw its police forces from Kezoltsa area. 

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It said the blockade was also temporarily lifted on the request of the Angami Public Organisation to enable it to celebrate its golden jubilee which falls on April 8. 

The SAPO, however, said the relaxation and lifting of the indefinite blockade is only a “temporary measure”.   

The release said if the Manipur government fails to adhere to the ultimatum served by the TPO on March 29, the SAPO will initiate its own course of action for which the former will be held responsible. 

The TPO, in its memorandum, urged the Manipur government to withdraw its armed police personnel and stop all activities in the disputed area at the earliest, failing which it and its constituent organizations will initiate their own course of action. 

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The Manipur government insisted that the police post at Kezoltsa is well within its territory. Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh said the blockade was not an inter-state dispute. 

All Manipur-bound vehicles, including petrol tankers, remained suspended along NH-2 due to the blockade. 

The SAYO maintained that the presence of Manipur government machineries in the disputed land violated the arbitration undertaking signed by Tenymi People’s Organisation (TPO), Board of Arbitrators, Mao Council, Maram and SAPO.  

It said the undertaking firmly resolved that no activity would be allowed in the disputed area pending resolution. 

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com