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UNC strike affects life in Manipur hills

By Correspondent

IMPHAL,June 17 � The United Naga Council (UNC)-sponsored 48-hour general strike which began last night, has disrupted normal life in the Naga-dominated four hill districts of Manipur � Chandel, Senapati, Tamenglong and Ukhrul.

However, the strike could not affect normal life in the remaining five districts � Imphal West, Imphal East, Bishnupur, Thoubal and Churachandpur districts, reports said.

Demanding an alternative arrangement by forming a separate administrative unit for Nagas in Manipur, the UNC Manipur called the strike which is scheduled to end tomorrow midnight (June 18).

Vehicular movement of essential items-laden trucks from outside the State along the National Highway 2 (Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati) and National Highway 37(Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar), which passes through the Naga-dominated Senapati and Tamenglong districts, were severely affected.

Sources said that vehicular movement was totally disturbed on the first day of the general strike in all the Naga-inhabited hill districts of Manipur, namely Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong and Chandel. Inter-district transport services between the above mentioned district headquarters and Imphal were affected. However, there was no sign of general strike in Churachandpur and four valley districts � Imphal West, Imphal East, Bishnupur and Thoubal districts.

Reports from Mao, Tadubi, Maram and Senapati, all under Senapati district (headquater), 60 km north of Imphal, said the strike was peaceful and total. Police said many goods-laden vehicles were stranded at the Mao-gate bordering Nagaland.

With educational institutions exempted from the purview of the strike, some school children were seen on the streets, while young boys spent their day by playing football on the streets.

Unlike in Senapati, Tamenglong and Chandel, the strike enforcing volunteers were absent in Ukhrul town, 84km north of Imphal, a resident in Ukhrul hill town said. The strike was also total as all shops and offices in the Tamenglong town, 150 km west of Imphal, remained closed since dawn. However, no untoward incidents was reported till the filing of this report.

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