Longkhum blockade: No end in sight
DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 16
DESPITE attempts from the Mokokchung administration and influential Ao public organizations to persuade Longkhum villagers to call off their indefinite blockade on all roads under Longkhum jurisdiction, the agitation continued for the third day in a row on Sunday. By all indications, the agitating villagers – led by Longkhum Lanur Telongjem (LLT) and Longkhum Watsu Telen (LWT) – are in no mood to lift the blockade anytime soon. President of LLT Lolen Jamir told Eastern Mirror on Sunday that they have no intention to call off the blockade “as of now.” “We received a letter from the Deputy Commissioner of Mokokchung last evening requesting us to call off the agitation. We will have a meeting tomorrow and decide on our next step,” he said. Jamir, however, suggested that the meeting has been called not because of the request from the administration to call off the blockade but rather for the reason that the content of the letter had “failed to address our demands.” “We have no plans of calling off the blockade as of now. In tomorrow’s meeting, we will discuss our next course of action as our demands are yet to be fulfilled,” he said. The DC Mokokchung had appealed the Longkhum villagers on Saturday, through the press also, to lift the blockade “in the interest of the general public and in order to continue to receive the sympathy and moral support of the public.” He had also pointed out in his press statement that the incident for which the villagers were agitating had “occurred in Dimapur and not within Mokokchung district.” On the same day, the Dimapur Ao Lanur Telongjem, the apex youth forum of Aos in Dimapur, had also requested the LLT to call off the blockade while expressing their solidarity and support in their struggle for justice. The LLT and LWT had imposed the indefinite road blockade on February 14 last, in protest against the delay in solving the brutal murder of Nungshilila, which had occurred on July 4 last year. The LLT had earlier set a deadline of January 31 to the administration “to take some positive action again” in connection with the case. “But even after lapse of ten days of the deadline, there is not an iota of any positive action in the case so far,” it had lamented while announcing the indefinite blockade. Dimapur police, who has been investigating the case, had also released a press statement a couple of days back informing that they were yet to receive the required forensics report from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Kolkata. The delay in completing the forensics report was because of the unavailability of a chemical reagent at the CFSL, Kolkata, the police had said.