Imphal: India's football icon Baichung Bhutia speaks out on the tension in Manipur which is blockaded by the NSCN supporters for almost two months even as the state government deployed forces to keep Thuingaleng Muivah out.
"I hope there is peace in Manipur and Nagaland, because at the end of the day it's the common people who are suffering. I hope peace prevails and the people are not into trouble. Common person is suffering," Bhutia said.
Meanwhile, the state government has deployed state forces at Liyai Khunou and Jessami near the Nagaland border in Ukhrul district to prevent entry of NSCN-IM General Secretary Thuingaleng Muivah.
Official sources said today that about 200 police personnel and border security forces have been deployed at both the villages.
Muivah, who attempted to enter Manipur along the Imphal-Dimapur National Highway 39 last month by camping at Viswema in Nagaland, had moved to Pfutsero in that state in an attempt to cross into Ukhrul district via Jessami and Liyai Khunou.
The senior Naga rebel leader, who hails from Somdal in Manipur's Ukhrul district, left his village about 40 years ago to wage an armed struggle.
The state government and many civil organisations here were of the view that Muivah's attempt to enter Manipur would create communal disharmony as the main demand of the NSCN-IM now was to form a greater Nagaland by taking Naga-settled areas of Manipur with the present Nagaland state, official sources said.
Muivah on Friday wound up his camp at Visema village on the Nagaland-Manipur border where he had been camping since May 5 and went to Pfutsero, Nagaland's highest altitude town, 70 km away by road on a 'peace mission'.
(With inputs from Agencies)