Monday, November 29, 1999

Naga blockade: Centre committed to ensure free movement of traffic

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New Delhi, June 16 (ANI): The Government on Wednesday said it is committed to ensure free movement of traffic through the highways connecting Manipur and the first convoy of trucks will ply on Saturday."The first convoy of goods for Manipur, as informed by the state government, is expected to move to Imphal on Saturday," the Home Ministry said in a statement after Home Secretary G K Pillai held a meeting with top officials of Nagaland and Manipur governments.The Ministry said the Central Government was committed to keep open the NH 39 and NH 53-the lifeline of Manipur, which were blocked by agitating Naga groups for over two months."The permanent arrangement of National Highway Protection Force for protecting and keeping open NH-39 would also be put in place," the statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.Union Home Secretary GK Pillai met officials from Nagaland and Manipur on Wednesday evening to discuss steps the two State Governments need to take to keep National Highway 39 open.Earlier on Monday, the Central Government had said that it will use paramilitary forces to break the over two-month long economic blockade enforced by Naga groups to ensure supplies of essentials into the region.Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai had earlier said the Centre has decided to send security forces to lift the economic blockade by Naga groups in Manipur.The blockade would be removed all along NH-39 from Assam to Manipur," said Pillai.The blockade had severely hit the supply of essential commodities to Manipur.The blockade on the national highway followed Manipur Government's decision to ban Naga separatist leader Thuingaleng Muivah from visiting his ancestral village in the troubled State. (ANI)

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