About 96000 Liters of fuel have been airlifted to Manipur in the last 24 hours by the Indian Air Force (IAF). Manipur that is under a blockade and cut-off from mainland India since November 2016, had fuel enough to last for a day.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) flew in its biggest transporters – the US Made C-17 Globemaster - from New Delhi to Guwahati from where oil tankers were loaded and flown to Imphal. Top IAF officials said the C-17 Globemasters flew 3 sorties to Imphal. Two tankers were carried in each sortie.
The C-17 Globemasters can carry 75 tons in a single sortie. The IAF is standing by to fly in more fuel. Fuel prices like other essential goods have sky-rocketed in Manipur because of the blockade.
The Nagas in Manipur are protesting against the creation of additional districts in the state and have blocked the main highways – NH-2 and NH 53- connecting the border state to mainland India. The Congress-led State Government in Manipur carved out seven additional districts from Naga dominated areas last November sparking a wave of protest. The Nagas, who are in talks with New Delhi, claim that creation of additional districts, put them at a political disadvantage by encroaching upon and dividing their land.
The United Naga Council called for an indefinite economic blockade preventing transportation of essential goods from the hills to the valley.
In retaliation the Meiteis – the majority ethnic group in Manipur - have blocked roads and have stopped vehicles carrying essential goods from moving to the four Naga-dominated hill districts from Imphal Valley.