The TRIPARTITE talks to end the four-month economic blockade of a crucial highway in Manipur failed to make any headway on Tuesday with the Naga group spearheading the agitation against the carving of seven new districts refusing to relent on its position.
Union Home Ministry sources said the Centre is disappointed with the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting in Imphal in which representatives of the Union Home Ministry, state government and United Naga Council (UNC) participated.
All the three parties had met in New Delhi on February 4 and the Centre had expressed hope that the blockade would end soon. The sources said that “earlier the Manipur government was not cooperating and now the UNC is taking a different stand”. However, they said efforts will be on to end the blockade in the poll-bound state at the earliest. The next round of talks are scheduled to be held on March 25.
Cadres of the UNC, which is protesting against the creation of seven new districts, have blocked NH-2 since November 1, affecting normal life in the state.
In a statement, the UNC said it has been concluded that the code of conduct cannot limit the Union of India or the Governor of Manipur from intervening and fulfilling their Constitutional obligation to safeguard and protect the land of the tribals as enshrined in the Constitution. “The Presidential Council therefore reiterates the rejection of the creation of seven new districts and resolved to continue to fight against the insidious design of grabbing our land… till the same is withdrawn,” it said.