Imphal, Aug. 12: United Naga Councilís 48-hour strike began in Manipurís Naga-inhabited areas today, disrupting supply of essential commodities to the state and affecting public transport.
The council, an apex body of the Naga communities living in the state, imposed the strike from last midnight demanding creation of an alternative administrative arrangement outside the Manipur governmentís purview for Nagas living in the state.
Life in the headquarters of the Naga-dominated districts of Chandel, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Senapati ground to a halt, as shops remained closed and vehicles stayed off the roads. No untoward incident was, however, reported during the day.
Official sources said no supply trucks entered the state today as the primary supply routes ó the Imphal-Dimapur and the Imphal-Jiribam highways ó pass through Naga dominated areas.
ďThe strike was total in all four districts. Banks, government offices and educational institutions were closed. The day was quite peaceful,Ē S. Milan, a leader of the council, told The Telegraph over phone from Ukhrul.
The council has been demanding the alternative arrangement since 2010 after the Okram Ibobi Singh government prevented NSCN (I-M) leader Th. Muivah from entering Manipur.
Leaders of the council and the Committee for Alternative Arrangement, another Naga organisation, held five rounds of tripartite talks with representatives of the Manipur government and the Union home ministry over the demand.
The last round of talks was held in Senapati on February 12 this year, in which Manipur government and Union home ministry officials offered development projects in the hills instead of the alternative arrangement.
The council now wants to talk at the political level and though representatives of the Centre and state government had promised to resume the talks, no date has been fixed yet for the next round.
The supply of commodities would, however, resume only on August 16, as immediately after the councilís strike ends at midnight August 13, another 48-hour strike, called by the Kuki State Demand Committee, will begin.
The committee has called the strike in all Kuki inhabited areas of Manipur demanding creation of a state out of the existing territory of Manipur.
Security has also been tightened in the district headquarters in the hills in view of tomorrowís Patriotsí Day, a state function and the upcoming Independence Day celebrations, which have been boycotted by several rebel outfits of the state.