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Manipur Insurgent Groups Lift Blockade On NH-2 To Ensure Uninterrupted Supply Of Essential Commodities In Violence-Hit State

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Imphal (Manipur) [India]: Manipur insurgent groups United People’s Front (UPF) and Kuki National Organisation (KNO), who are currently under the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement with the centre, said on Sunday that they have decided to lift the blockade at Kangui (Kangpokpi) on NH2 with immediate effect to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential commodities in the violence-hit state.

UPF spokesperson Aaron Kipgen and KNO spokesperson Seilen Haokip said, “Notwithstanding the anger and anguish of the Kuki Zo people, keeping in view Amit Shah, Union Home Minister’s deep concern to restore peace and harmony in the State and alleviate the plight of people in general, the United People’s Front and Kuki National Organisation have decided to lift the blockade at Kangui (Kangpokpi) on NH2 with immediate effect to ensure uninterrupted supply of essential commodities in the State.

The decision was taken after wide-ranging consultations with Civil Society organisations, village chiefs, youth, and women’s leaders on several occasions.” he insurgent groups, in a press statement, further said that Manipur has been witnessing ethnic violence between Meiteis and Kuki Zo communities since May 3, 2023.

“Recurring violence has led to the loss of precious lives and the destruction of property, besides hundreds being injured and thousands being displaced. The ongoing conflict has disturbed the traditional communal harmony in the state of Manipur.

The Kuki Zo people have suffered immensely from continued offensives by miscreants and have urged the authorities to protect their lives and properties,” said the statement.

It also stated that the Kuki Zo organisations had earlier met the Union Home Minister and appealed to him to provide security in the vulnerable villages bordering the foothills.

“We appreciate that central forces have been deployed in most of these areas as assured, and the process is in progress. Once the deployment of Central Forces is completed in all vulnerable areas, we will ensure that our volunteers are withdrawn from these areas to help restore peace and tranquilly.

It is expected that the concerned authorities will take every measure to maintain peace and ensure the supply of essential commodities to the needy, particularly in the hill districts. We also take this opportunity to appeal to all peace-loving organisations and citizens in the State of Manipur to reciprocate our gesture and take steps towards peace and communal harmony in the State,” said the press statement issued by UPF and KNO.

Meanwhile, the curfew in the West Imphal district would be relaxed from 5 am to 6 pm on Monday after Chief Minister Biren Singh inspected the ground situation at the hills adjoining Bishnupur-Churachandpur on Sunday.

On Sunday, Chief Minister Biren Singh inspected the on-ground situation at the hills adjoining Bishnupur-Churachandpur.

The order by the District Magistrate said, “There is considerable improvement of law and orders in the district and there is need to relax the restriction of movement to facilitate general public to purchase the essential items including medicines and food items.”

“Now, therefore, restriction of movement of general public outside their residences is hereby lifted for 3rd July, 2023 (Monday) from 05:00 AM to 06:00 PM for all areas of Imphal West District,” the order stated.

Ethnic clashes broke out in the State nearly two months ago on May 3 after clashes erupted during a rally organised by the All Tribal Students Union (ATSU) to protest against the demand for the inclusion of Meiteis in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs).

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