Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Even as people in Manipur are bearing the brunt of National Highway blockade in Nagaland and in Manipur by Naga based groups, some traders are trying to capitalize on the crisis situation. For instance one shop is offering 10 litres of petrol for free with a TV. In the crisis situation a litre of the fuel has shot up to Rs. 200. This electronic shop, one of the biggest in Imphal town grabbed people’s attention and took everyone by surprise one fine day when it posted a full page ad in a local daily. ‘Buy certain items from the shop for certain rate and get 10 liters of petrol or a Tata sky absolutely free’. The one liner of course reflects the scarcity of petroleum products, Manipur faces late in the wake of indefinite National Highway blockade and the counter blockade. A liter of petrol now costs around Rs 150 to 200 in the black market and that is not so readily available. For the last more than a month, Naga groups have imposed blockade on National Highway 39 against the government’s decision to hold ADC polls against the people’s wishes. Making matters worse, the life line of the state got completely paralysed after Ibobi slapped a ban on NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah’s visit to his native village in the early part of this month. Since then NSCN supporters and other Naga groups in Nagaland have held the National Highway siege, thereby choking supply of essential commodities to Manipur. Traders are exploiting the situation to sell their products. And they have got customers rushing to shops that are offering petrol for free. Amid this acute fuel scarcity, Imphal-based electronic outlets have toed in the lines of one offering free petrol for buying television sets, washing machines and refrigerators.


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