TODAY -

Public blockade over demand for Kuki State stifles lifelines, panic buying grips people
KSDC responds to Govt's invitation, talk today
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 19 2012: Even as panic buying has started to grip the people of Imphal, with the Kuki State Demand Committee's public blockade cutting off the major lifelines of the State for the third day today, the strikers and the State Government are set to sit down together and discuss the issue of starting a political negotiation with the Kuki armed groups under the SoO pact.

Confirming this, general secretary of KSDC, Benjamin Mate informed that they have received an invitation from the State Government for a talk and added that after due deliberations they have decided to depute a five member team to talk with Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam tomorrow morning.

"We received a formal invitation for a meeting from the Deputy Chief Minister at about noon today and we have decided to send our representatives to him after duly discussing his offer.

Our representatives will be meeting him at about 10.30 am tomorrow.

Thereafter we will hold a press conference to declare our next move, depending on what transpires in the meeting with the Deputy Chief Minister,' the KSDC information and publicity secretary George Guite said.



People queuing up outside PCTC on the third day of the public blockade
People queuing up outside PCTC on the third day of the public blockade


Ahead of the meeting tomorrow, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam convened a meeting, wherein the Chief Secretary and the DGP were present.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam has once again appealed to call off the ongoing bandh as it would only breed misery for all including those who are behind the bandh.

Speaking to media persons at Congress Bhavan today, Gaikhangam said that the State Government has invited the Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) to a talk tomorrow.

The meeting could have been held today itself but the Government was dispatching a formal invitation to KSDC.

Imposing bandhs and blockades on National Highways for any issue is not in the interest of the people.

It only causes misery and suffering to all the people including those who are imposing bandhs and blockades.

" I would like to appeal once again to call off the bandh in the interest of the people of Manipur", Gaikhangam stated.

The State Government has no authority to work a solution for UPF and KNO which are under tripartite Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact involving the Government of India.

The dialogue process should be taken to the next step under a mutual understanding among the parties concerned.

Nevertheless, the Government of Manipur has submitted a representation to the Government of India to take the dialogue process forward and work out a solution at the earliest possible time, Gaikhangam conveyed.

Informing that he had held a one to one meeting with Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on the unfolding situation, the Deputy Chief Minister conveyed about the Centre's assurance to depute and send central leaders to Manipur for dialogue with all dissenting groups after the parliamentary session.

He exuded confidence that the Centre would take up all necessary steps to bring a logical conclusion to the SoO pact.

Noting the presence of long queues in front of oil pumps even though the blockade is just two days old, Gaikhangam stated that he would talk with CAF&PD Minister M Okendro about the available stock of fuel oils and the possible measures to tide over the situation.

Nonetheless, he speculated that the existing stock of fuel oils would last at least two weeks.

Asserting that all differences and issues can be resolved through dialogue, Gaikhangam conveyed his expectation for a positive response after tomorrow's meeting.


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