IMPHAL,Dec 31 � The year 2011 could be called the year of blockades as the land-locked border State had witnessed a total of 121 days economic blockade during the year.
It also broke last year�s record of 68 days blockade by Naga bodies to become the longest-ever blockade in the recent times resulting in the worst-ever supply crisis. The State is still facing non-availability of fuel.
This year�s blockade began on July 31 last when the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee, spearheaded by Kukis, choked NH 39 (Imphal-Dimapur) and NH 53 (Imphal-Jiribam) to press their demand for creating a separate Sadar Hills district.
The United Naga Council (UNC) which is against the creation of a separate Sadar Hills district in the areas Nagas inhabit, retaliated by imposing a parallel blockade of the two highways on August 21. Though SHDCC suspended their stir on the 92nd day, UNC continued their blockade till November 28.
The frequent blockades forced the Manipur Assembly to prepare a report in its last session from December 20-22 in a move to prevent the culture of bandhs and economic blockades.
Many eminent personalities including Pandit Ningthou-khongjam Khelchandra, an authority on art and culture and literature, writer Maharajkumari Binodini, Prof L Damodar and Chongtham Samarendra passed away while four legislators including then Speaker Dr S Budhicnadra also expired during the year.
The year also saw a series of discussions and demonstrations to support Manipur�s Iron Lady Irom Sharmila�s eleven year old struggle against the controversial Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act 1958. Sharmila has been on a hunger strike since November 2, 2000.
In an unwanted incident, cadres of the banned KCP (Kesho Meitei group) shot dead chowkidar father and son duo after being abducted from their Irilbung residence in December provoking people to stage protest. The angry villagers even pulled down five houses at Chanam Sandrok village in Imphal East district belonging to militants reportedly involved in the killings.