Ban by Naga students body hits vehicular traffic from Manipur

Imphal, Feb 24 (IANS) Plying of buses and trucks from Manipur to Nagaland was affected on Wednesday morning after a Naga students’ body announced an indefinite ban on vehicles to protest against alleged harassment of their members by Manipur Police.

Hundreds of vehicles were stranded along the highway due to the ban, announced by the Naga Students Federation (NSF) after the Manipur government refused to book certain police commandos who allegedly harassed NSF delegates on February 14.

The NSF claimed that the commandos detained the delegates at Mantri Pukhri and snatched their mobile phones when they were on their way to Ukhrul district to attend a Naga seed-sowing festival.

However, Manipur Police maintained it was routine checking and the delegates were not detained or harassed in any manner.

Meanwhile, All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) leader Ranjit Sarangthem asked the NSF here on Wednesday to end its indefinite ban on the vehicles of Manipuris and warned of a counter-ban on vehicles owned by the Nagas in Manipur and other Manipuri-inhabited areas in the north-eastern region.

Youths suspected to be Naga students snatched the papers of over 30 trucks after intercepting them at Mayangkhang and Ningthoukhang in Senapati district of Manipur along National Highway-2. Sarangthem demanded the return of these documents to their owners.

The AMSU leader said if the Manipur commandos were guilty of high-handedness against the NSF delegates, the issue should be resolved with the Manipur government but the common people should not be harassed.

Manipur Director General of Police L.M. Khoute urged his Nagaland counterpart L. Doungel to ensure the safety of the vehicles, drivers and passengers belonging to Manipur in Nagaland.

Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang also appealed to the NSF to call off the ban to prevent harassment of innocent people.

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