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IMPHAL: The strategic National Highway 37 connecting Manipur to Assam is in the coming days set to witness several shutdowns called by various groups to press their respective demands — spelling difficulties ahead for residents of the northeastern region.
The All Tribal Students' Union Manipur warned on Monday that "Naga and Kuki students' organisations will impose indefinite blockades in the five districts of Manipur from Wednesday if the Manipur University authorities do not revoke the resolution of the Academic Council taken on Friday endorsing UGC guidelines".
The tribal students have taken strong exception to the resolution of the Academic Council. The Manipur University has been following the Manipur government norm of reservations in admissions.
However, once it became a central university the new norm of slashing reservation quota from 31 for the tribal candidates to 7.5 per cent was to be implemented. There have been agitations and on October 3 where several buildings were torched in the campus.
However, one question remains. Will the university revert to the earlier reservation system which enables a greater assimilation of the tribal community into the educational institution like the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) for the beneficial growth of the tribal sections of society or is there something else politically animated causing the ruckus?
In another instance in Nagaland, The Rongmei Naga Youths Front on Monday announced that it will start an indefinite blockade along the 313-km NH 37 to protest the bad condition of the mountain highway.
The call was supported by vehicle drivers plying the highway, who announced that they will repair the highway — which runs from Goalpara to Saikhoa Ghat — from their own resources.
State Works Minister K. Biren on Monday held an emergency meeting with engineers in the backdrop of the call. However, according to sources here, nothing tangible came out of it.
Meanwhile, the coordination committee on Fuel Adulteration, formed by 21 organisations in Nagaland, has said that "its phased agitations shall begin from October 17".
It said that since the Nagaland government has refused to hand over the case relating to fuel adulteration to the CBI "we are compelled to take the step". Vehicles will be blocked along the National Highway as the Nagaland government has allegedly refused to order a CBI inquiry into the rampant incidence of fuel adulteration.
Furthermore, activists said that 80 per cent of the adulterated fuel was sold in Manipur. Though the blockade will be effective in Nagaland, it will also hit Manipur since the National Highway passes through the state.
Unresolved issues of Nagaland and Manipur are bound to spell difficulties especially when concerned bodies are unable to arrive at a solution. However, the need for blockades are viewed as obstructions that would prevent great economic exchanges from taking place and would set in numerous difficulties for the two states which brings in the question, are blockades the solution?
(Featured Image Source: Telegraph India/ Representational)