A 48-hour general strike called by a tribal students organisation in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district crippled normal life on Thursday in the border areas and hit NH-2, the state’s lifeline.
Hundreds of vehicles were parked in Moreh and along National Highway-2 with the stranded tourists and traders finding it difficult to even get water and food.
The Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) called the shutdown from Wednesday midnight which also affected the legal border trade at Moreh and Myanmar’s Namphalong.
KSO activists told IANS on Thursday that it called the strike as the government has not been releasing subsidised rice for the people of the district for the last three months.
A short meeting with the district administration was held on Thursday with sources saying the talks were not fruitful. The district police are patrolling all-trouble prone areas to maintain law and order.
The distribution of rice during Congress rule was erratic and unreliable, said several women activists. Activist Purnishashi Yengkhom said the people thought things will improve under the Bharatiya Janata Party‘s rule.
“However people are getting just three kg of rice in a month at the rate of Rs 3 per kg,” she added.
There are similar complaints from below poverty line villagers in some other areas. KSO activists threatened other forms of agitation if not given their due share.
Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Karam Shyam has called for a report since the rice stock for the district is said to have been lifted on time.
Meanwhile, highly placed sources said on Thursday that Chief Minister N. Biren Singh‘s appeal to armed militant outfits for holding negotiations for durable peace have got no response.
Biren Singh, however, said that over 70 militants had come overground to join the national mainstream after the formation of the BJP-led government in 2017.
Police sources said counter-insurgency operations have been intensified in the vulnerable areas.
A police spokesman said a Lance Corporal of the Manipur Naga People’s Front was arrested on Monday near Imphal while a woman insurgent was held on Tuesday.