UNC ban call affects rail-line works State asks Centre to ban UNC

IMPHAL, Dec 16: While action, if any, from the Central Government is still being awaited on the Government of Manipur’s insistence that the United Naga Council (UNC) be declared as unlawful organisation, the latter’s call for boycott of all rail-line project work for two months from today has reportedly crippled the national project, particularly in Tamenglong district section of the rail-line.

According to a source in the Union Home Ministry, Government of Manipur has been instructed to take all possible action if there is any threat to the rail-track laying works, declared a National Project by the Centre.

On the State’s proposal to ban UNC, the source confided that certain technical aspects need to be taken into account for officially banning the Council, including the number of FIRs registered against the UNC by the police.

Despite the Union Ministry’s instruction to the State Government for stringent against any group of individual that pose threat to the national project, whose completion target has been reset for March 2014, project-related activities in Tamenglong district section of the rail-line has come of standstill from today.

With no workers reporting at the work sites the rail-line construction work has been severely affected, confirmed a district police source with similar report conveyed by a top official of the district administration.

on the advice of Centre,  additional security personnel comprising of the CRPF and state forces have been put on alert along the project route to thwart the UNC agitation call.

In pursuit of its demand for an ‘alternative arrangement’ outside the Government of Manipur and objection against formation of Sadar Hills district by carving out Naga areas, the UNC had enforced economic blockade for over 100 days on the two National Highways that connect Manipur with other parts of the country.

Days after suspending the economic blockade, the UNC announced it would boycott the rail project from December 16 to protest the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s assertion that territorial integrity of Manipur would be protected.

On the other hand, source in the State Government confided that decision to propose for banning the UNC had been taken in view of various agitation launched by the Council and other Naga organisations.

Following a court decree the State Government had issued warrant of arrest against the UNC and ANSAM presidents.

Even though the Centre of yet to initiate relevant process for banning UNC by invoking Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 as had been proposed by the State, the Union Home Ministry is informed to be closely monitoring the Council’s activities.

Consequently, the Ministry had directed authorities concerned for fool-proof security measure to ensure that the rail-line work, declared a national project, proceed smoothly for completion within the specified period.

The Ministry has also directed for deployment of a CRPF battalion for the task of providing security coverage to the project.

While the CRPF battalion has been entrusted with main task, all other security agencies including the Army, Assam Rifles and State forces deployed along the project route have been advised to maintain vigil for any eventualities.

 

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