Sadar Hills demand continues to fester, Govt offices, vehicles vadalised, consigned to flames
Cabinet meet today to top off talk with SHDDC
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 04 2011:
Following a round of meeting with representatives of the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC), Chief Minister O Ibobi has convened a Cabinet meeting at 3 pm tomorrow to deliberate on the issue of Sadar Hills.
Notwithstanding the first step towards negotiation, the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Kangpokpi was set ablaze at around 8.30 this evening.
The State Government held a meeting with SHDDC representatives in the Chief Minister's office this afternoon.
While the State Government was represented by the Chief Minister, Power Minister Phungzathang Tonsing, IPR Minister TN Haokip and MLAs elected from Sadar Hills area, the SHDDC was represented by ex-MP Paokai Haokip, District Congress Committee president Thangkham Misao and president of the Sadar Hills Chiefs' Association Tongpu Kipgen.
Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Tongpu Kipgen conveyed that the demand to upgrade Sadar Hills to the status of a district is not about carving out a new State or seeking autonomy.
This would rather consolidate integrity of Manipur, Tongpu conveyed as stated before the Chief Minister.
Conveying that people were sentimental over the 40 years old issue, the SHDDC representatives urged the State Government to make its position clear.
To this, the Chief Minister replied that the issue would be discussed in a Cabinet meeting tomorrow.
The Chief Minister put up certain conditions which the SHDDC would consider tomorrow at a meeting.
However, both sides refused to divulge what exactly were the conditions put up by the Chief Minister.
An official source informed that the Chief Minister has convened a Cabinet meeting at 3 pm tomorrow.
Although the issue of upgrading Sadar Hills to the status of a district has been discussed at the Chief Ministerial level, the ongoing highway blockade and the general strike would continue, said SHDDC general secretary Tonghen Kipgen.
Meanwhile, it is reported that three Government offices, two four-wheelers and one two-wheeler were set afire by blockade supporters last night besides vandalising around ten trucks.
Saitu-Gamphajol SDO office, PHED EE office located at Kangpokpi and the SSA office were also set afire last night, said a police source.
Blockade supporters further vandalised three vehicles at Gangpijang along Saikul road and another two cars at Hengbung.
One car (Swift) was set ablaze at Motbung at around 10.30 last night.
One Maruti van and a Bajaj Pulsar bike were also set ablaze at Gamgiphai this afternoon.
Further around ten trucks parked at Kangpokpi were vandalised by blockade supporters.
On the other hand, Chief Minister O Ibobi presided a joint meeting of top officers of Police, Assam Rifles, Army and CRPF this morning and discussed the transportation of essential commodities uninterrupted amidst the continuing blockade and general strike.
In view of the intensified agitation over the demand , Senapati DC Pradip Kumar Jha has stationed himself in Kangpokpi police station since yesterday to monitor the situation.
The Senapati district administration has also providing accommodation as well as food to stranded passengers at Senapati mini stadium since today.
Meanwhile, MS Zhimomi Traders has extended a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the owner of the truck which was set afire by blockade supporters near Keithelmanbi along NH 53 yesterday afternoon.
Zhimomi Traders' sub-contractor Kh Inaoba said that the NH 53 Truck Owners' Association would be extend monetary assistance to the owner of the truck which was carrying FCI rice.
He also appealed to the Government to bring back the stranded trucks.