IMPHAL: Manipur seems to have been burning under the issue of ILP and the issue has taken a turn for the worse now. The supply of basic essential commodities has been stopped to the five hill districts to counter a 10-day long economic blockade imposed in the hills by the tribal organizations.
Regular checks for vehicle leaving Imphal are being conducted by valley people since Tuesday to halt transportation of basic commodities to the hills. The presence of rice, potato or any other edible items found in the vehicles are unloaded and then allowed to proceed.
Several hill-based indigenous groups had imposed a 10-day economic blockade on the state's lifelines – National Highway 2 (Imphal-Dimapur highway) and National Highway 37 (Imphal-Silchar highway) – on June 9 midnight, disrupting supply of commodities to Manipur.
The blockade was called jointly by the Joint Action Committee against Anti-Tribal Bills, Hmar Inpui, Mizo Peoples Convention, Thadou Inpi, United Naga Council, Zoumi Council and the Outer Manipur Tribal Forum against the Protection of Manipur People Bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill 2015, which were passed by the Manipur Assembly in August last year. The bills are awaiting the President's assent.
The Okram Ibobi Singh government has so far brought loaded trucks, stranded at various points in Senapati district, to Imphal with police escorts twice since the blockade began.
To counter the blockade, people in the valley stopped commodities moving towards the five hill districts at various places in Imphal West, Imphal East, Thoubal and Bishnupur districts – all in the valley.
Sources informed the counter-blockade was launched after prices of essential commodities, including vegetables, soared after the economic blockade was imposed.
An independent researcher said the price of potato had increased from Rs 25 to Rs 35 in Imphal city. The prices of other edible items have also increased, ranging from Rs 10 to Rs 40. However, unlike in the past, consumers are not facing any scarcity of fuel as petrol pumps have not been closed down.