New Delhi: The United Naga Council (UNC) on Tuesday urged the Centre for imposition of President's rule in Manipur where an economic blockade by the organisation snapped two highways connecting the state.
The demand was placed by the UNC before Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh when a delegation of the group met here.
"We appeal for imposing President's rule in Manipur as the state government has failed completely on all fronts and law order has deteriorated. Creation of seven new districts is a ploy by the Manipur Chief Minister for electoral gains," senior UNC leader Adani Mao said at a press conference here.
Mao, the former UNC president, who is at present looking after the affairs of the Council after the arrest of its senior leaders, alleged that Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh was trying "cheap tricks ahead of polls to hide the government's incompetency".
Claiming that violence has taken place in several areas of Manipur, Convener for Joint Naga Civil Societies, Lakpachui Siro, accused the Congress-led state government of disrupting peace by creating seven new districts for "electoral gains" ahead of the assembly elections next year.
"The state government is going to upgrade Sadar Hills and Jiribam regions to full-fledged districts without consulting the Nagas who inhabit the areas. Precious lands, which belong to them, are being snatched away and there are unrest in the state," he said.
The UNC, which has imposed an economic blockade on NH-2 (Imphal-Dimapur) and NH 37 (Imphal-Jiribam) that serve as lifelines for the landlocked state, said Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh decided to create seven new districts "without consulting" the Nagas who, they said, are the most important stakeholders.
The UNC has demanded immediate release of its President Gaidon Kamei and Publicity Secretary Stephen lamkang who they said have been arrested "arbitrarily".
The UNC has accused Meiteis of creating unrest in the state by killing innocent people, saying Meiteis are not only torching vehicles, burning down houses and looting Nagas, but also attacking places of worships in the state.
Meanwhile, the Centre has rushed around 4,000 paramilitary personnel to Manipur in the wake of violence following economic blockade on National Highways connecting the state. While around 1,500 paramilitary personnel were rushed in to Manipur in last two days, around 2,500 paramilitary were dispatched to the state last week, a senior Home Ministry official said on Tuesday. The security personnel were sent to the Northeastern state keeping in view the security situation in the state in the wake of violence following the economic blockade imposed by the Union Naga Council on two National Highways since November 1.
Curfew in Imphal East district was clamped indefinitely on Sunday last after a mob torched and vandalised 22 passenger vehicles on the Imphal-Ukhrul road, while curfew in Imphal West district was imposed from evening to dawn. Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang has sought the intervention of both the Centre and Manipur government in securing the lives and property of Naga people in the Imphal valley of Manipur.
Zeliang in separate letters to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Manipur Chief Minister Ibobi Singh on Monday drew their attention to the plight of hundreds of Nagas who are stranded in the Imphal valley and claimed that they were prevented from proceeding to their respective villages in the hills after threats to their lives by some valley based organisations.