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Politics on National Highways; the other perspective

by IT Web Admin
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IT Desk
Imphal, Dec. 31: A matter which is needed to be pondered upon is whether the ongoing impasse which put the live of nearly 2.8 million people at stake is related to the upcoming 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly Election or not. Much has been discussed, much has been deliberated by experts to the genesis of the prolonged economic blockade on National highways in Manipur, but none has taken up the missing link with the ongoing impasse.
It is a matter of fact that this is not the first time that economic blockade on High ways in Manipur is being enforced. Early in 2004, during the middle month of 2010 and at many instances between these years, people have been facing the tantrum of economic blockade time and again.
So when it is known that economic blockade is a serious crisis of the state of Manipur why the government is still yet to find some ways to overcome the problem created out of this inhumane agitation.
Even common man who are not in the government knows that there are certain central legislation to protect the National Highways, why is it that the government authority at center try to shy away with its legislations and why is it that the state government sue the central government over its inability to render its service as per the legislations made by them.
Before the provisions of the legislation to protect the National Highway are deliberated, it is worth discussing who are being benefited with this economic blockade.
Well every times when such economic blockade came into force price of essential commodities skyrocketed. Particularly the price of petrol is sold triple the original price by black marketers. Surprisingly, no matter how long the economic blockade is underway, there was no dearth for either petrol or other essential commodities. The only matter is that the price of these essential commodities or petrol is beyond the capacity of common people who live on hand to mouth.
So, definitely there are some people who consider blockade season as harvesting season. For them they make triple the profit they usually made on normal days. And there is no reason to believe that these so call black marketers who are probably men frequently remain in touch with high class politicians might have instigated those enforcing the economic blockade to continue it.
Well, the above is a conspiracy theory, and when viewed from the legal perspective, it is also worth pondering on why the central government authorities are not respecting the provisions of the National Highway Act, 1956.
Section 8B of the Act says about the punishment for mischief by injury to national highway. It says – whoever commits mischief by doing any act which renders or which he knows to be likely to render any national highway referred to in sub-section (1) of the 8A impassable or less safe for travelling or conveying property, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with a fine, or with both.
What is ironical is the remark of the Union Home Minister Rajnath during a meeting with a delegates of AMWJU, at which he was quoted as asking whether the blockade by UNC still continue or not.
On the other hand, Union MoS Home Kiren Rijiju’s statement to media persons last week at which he stated that center is taking seriously to the problems created out of the prolonged economic blockade simply surprises to all the people who are aware of the National Highway Act, 1956.
Or is it that – Indian government have separate laws to deal with the state of Manipur. If so there is no use to have faith to the Indian Government. Or else, it is much better to have separate legislations to govern the land which was one of the oldest Asiatic kingdoms in the world.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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