The bandh was called against Manipur’s refusal to remove a police post and cease development activities in the disputed Kezoltsa
KOHIMA: The Southern Angami Public Organization (SAPO), a Nagaland-based tribal body, suspended its bandh along the Manipur border 10 days after its call for the strike disrupted traffic along the National Highway-2 lifeline. The bandh was called against Manipur’s refusal to remove a police post and cease development activities in the disputed Kezoltsa.
National Highway-2 is the main supply route to Manipur. Vehicular movement and supply of essential commodities were halted due to the bandh near forested Dzükou valley. The area is disputed over claims of traditional ownership by three Naga tribes.
Naga tribes are spread across Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Myanmar as a result of arbitrary borders the British drew during the colonial era.
The dispute began when the Manipur Forest Department sought to survey the region in 1985. Southern Angamis resented the move and forced Manipur to apologize for trespassing without prior permission. Since then, allegations of heavy logging and smuggling have been leveled.
In a statement, SAPO said it suspended the bandh following appeals from the Tenyimi People’s Organization (TPO), an umbrella body of 10 Naga tribes. It said TPO has given an ultimatum to Manipur to withdraw police forces from Kezoltsa and requested it to end the blockade.
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