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Updated at Wednesday, August 15, 2001 at 10:19:12 AM IST


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Help the BRTF in building NH 53

Dear Sir,

Recently, the Commanders of 25 and 36 Bns BRTF had expressed through the local media that suspension of works for National Highway 53 was due to the activities (extortion, killing of BRTF personnel and destruction of machineries etc.) of the insurgent groups though there is some ambiguity in outlining the militant groups concerned. It is very difficult to contemplate that the valley based militants, specially the Meitei insurgents, may like to cut their own throats by harming the BRTF personnel whose sole interest is the development and welfare of NH 53 which is probably the ultimate lifeline of the Manipuris. Every citizen of the State firmly believes and prays that the Meetei insurgents must give full assistance and security to the BRTF. There is also some propriety in blaming the NSCN for the hindrances in NH 53 constructions. NSCN and its sympathizers have put a blockade on NH 53 and allegedly destroyed some bridges as a protest against the review of the Bangkok agreement. NSCN is also involved in the frequent looting and extortion of the passenger buses and goods vehicles plying on this road. The Meetei insurgent groups must use every means, in public interest, to sanitize the NH 53 from this harmful group of people infesting on this lifeline like parasites at the earliest.

On the other hand, it is very encouraging that a State Level Committee has been set up for the development of NH 53. However, the notion of building this 222 Km Highway by collecting public money through a Trust is next to reality in this poverty stricken State. Besides this, the BRTF has discreetly stated that there is no scarcity of funds for this Highway. What it lacks is the people’s cooperation and participation; and the BRTF is seeking for both for a speedy completion of the NH 53 construction. Instead of forming a Trust, the Committee, in public interest, may better remain as a pressure-body monitoring and enhancing the BRTF activities as well as containing any anti social elements for smooth progress of works. It is undesirable to waste any more time in exploring the not so possible means of building the NH 53. One thing is very clear that whoever disturbs the NH 53 construction is undoubtedly the worst enemy of the Manipuris in large.

Laishram Napoleon,
(Received on email on August 14, 2001)


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