Naga Community leaders on Tuesday said the economic blockade imposed by the Naga groups in Manipur would not be lifted unless the state government revoked its decision declaring June 18 as 'State Integrity Day'.
A delegation of Naga Hoho, a traditional parent organisation of the Nagas, and the All Naga Students' Association of Manipur, who met senior central leaders in New Delhi, said the blockade had been imposed 'with a reason as the Manipur government was ignoring the grievances of Nagas living in the state.'
Neingulo Krome, general secretary of Naga Hoho, however said they were ready to discuss the issue with the Manipur government but preferred that talks be held in Delhi or Senapati district of the state where Nagas were a majority.
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The leaders had, over the last week, met United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Minister of State for Home S Reghupathy and Central interlocutor for Naga talks K Padmanabhaiah.
"The home minister requested us to negotiate with the Manipur government (on the blockade). We will discuss this with our leaders back home," Krome told reporters in Delhi.
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Admitting that people were suffering because of the blockade, S Kho John, ANSAM tribunal general, said, "this is only temporary. It is the most peaceful and democratic means of protest and we had no option but to resort to it to give vent to our grievances."