On request of the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, the Chief Minister of Manipur Shri Okram Ibobi Singh met him here today.
The Home Minister expressed his grave concern over the continued blockade of National Highway-2 causing severe difficulties to the people of Manipur specially with regard to availability of essential commodities. Shri Rajnath Singh further stated that continued blockade is likely to adversely affect democratic process in the forthcoming elections by hampering movement of people, including election officials.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has been making repeated efforts to find a way to have the NH-2 opened. On 15th November, 2016, tripartite talks with Government of Manipur and United Naga Council (UNC) were called at New Delhi to discuss the economic blockade, which were not attended by Government of Manipur. On 22nd Dec., 2016, the Union Home Minister wrote to the Chief Minister of Manipur to discharge his Constitutional obligations of keeping National Highways open and ensure supplies of essential commodities. 40 additional Coys. of Central Para-Military Forces have been made available to Manipur as asked for by them in the month of December, 2016, in addition to 135 Coys. of CAPFs already stationed there. Despite these repeated efforts of the Ministry, nothing substantive seems to have been done to remove the economic blockade.
Shri Rajnath Singh stated that it is the Constitutional obligation of Government of Manipur to maintain public order in the State including maintenance of essential supplies and conducive atmosphere for holding elections. He called upon the Chief Minister to discharge this obligation responsibly, in the interest of people of Manipur. If more forces are required for this, that would be made available by Government of India. But it is critical that Government of Manipur should not be lacking in its will to restore normalcy.
The Union Home Minister made it clear that if Government of Manipur fails in its Constitutional duties, Government of India may have to explore other measures under the provisions of Constitution of India to ensure that difficulties of people of Manipur are alleviated. On request of Home Minister, the Chief Minister of Nagaland Shri T. R. Zeliang also met the Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh today. The Home Minister sought his cooperation in keeping the NH-2 open between Dimapur and Mao Gate and not to allow disturbance on this vital route.
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