Naga students threaten to stop Manipuri vehicles

Imphal, Feb 23 (IANS) The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has said it will stop entry of all Manipuri vehicles into Naga-populated areas from Tuesday midnight unless action is taken against security personnel for allegedly harassing their activists.

A statement by Subenthing Kigam, president of the Nagaland-based NSF, said they will stop the entry of Manipuri vehicles into Naga-populated areas, including five hill districts in the state, unless the police commandos who had allegedly harassed some of their activists on February 15 are punished.

According to the NSF, they will bar entry of vehicles into Naga areas, which include Nagaland and all Naga-populated areas in Manipur and neighbouring states.

The NSF said its members, who were on their way to Ukhrul district to attend the Lui Ngai Ni — the seed sowing festival of the Nagas in Manipur, were intercepted at Mantri Pukhri near Imphal.

A memorandum submitted to Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on February 16 said the commandos harassed the delegates, snatched their mobile phones and unnecessarily detained them.

Upset as no action was taken against the personnel, the NSF held a meeting in Kohima on Monday and resolved to ban the vehicles.

Director General of Police L.M. Khoute said: “We have spoken to our Nagaland counterpart Lein Doungel two times on Tuesday. We requested him to take up measures in Nagaland to ensure that there is no damage to vehicles or injury to drivers.”

On the alleged harassment, he said: “As per procedure, the commandos asked them to get down which they refused. However, later they were allowed to proceed.”

Sources told IANS that drivers including those driving inter-state buses, trucks and private vehicles are not taking any chances. They are in a hurry to return to Manipur before the expiry of the deadline and are likely to refrain from plying to the five hill districts from Wednesday.

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