Delhi counsel fails to break ice, Ibobi refuses to give deadline, talks break down
No district, no polls, slogan on SHDDC lips
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 24 2011:
With the Chief Minister failing to give a deadline to convert Sadar Hills to a full fledged district, the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee has decided to go ahead with its agitation with renewed vigour, placing the responsibility at the hands of the Chief Minister in the event of anything taking a turn for the worse.
The meeting was held in the backdrop of the recent meeting the Chief Minister had with the Union Home Minister at Delhi on the Sadar Hills issue.
With the latest round of talk failing to work out a resolution, the SHDDC has asserted that if their demand is not met, then they would boycott the upcoming Assembly election next year.
"No districthood no election" will be the stand of the people of Sadar Hills if district status is not granted before the enforcement of the election code of conduct.
Speaking to The Sangai Express, a reliable source said that representatives of SHDDC, including three women and the three MLAs of Sadar Hills met the Chief Minister today evening.
During the meeting the Chief Minister urged them to call off the blockade and if needed to resort to some other mode of protest on the ground that blocking the highway is akin to violating the rights of all the people of Manipur.
To the suggestions of the Chief Minister, the SHDDC members reminded that the people of Sadar Hills have been denied their rights for the last 40 years.
Asserting that the stir would not be rolled back without any concrete assurance from the Government, the SHDDC members asked the Chief Minister to give them a deadline, but not a deadline where they would have to wait for months.
With the Chief Minister failing to respond positively, the SHDDC members walked out of the meeting, said the source.
Meanwhile talking to a group of media persons who toured Sadar Hills area today, president of SHDDC, Kamkhohao Kipgen said that the demand to upgrade Sadar Hills to a district status has been pending for four decades.
There will be no retreat this time, he asserted and added that the announcement of the Government that the district boundary would be redrawn is welcome if it is meant to streamline administration.
However this does not mean that the agitation would be suspended in view of boundary re-organisation, he said.
District re-organisation can be effected only after the creation of Sadar Hills as a district, he added.
Stating that the present agitation is the outpouring of 4 decades of people's angst and frustration with the Government, SHDDC leader said that the Chief Minister's attempt to mix Sadar Hills issue with the district demand of Jiribam, Ukhrul, Churachandpur, the forcible dispersal of the blockade supporters, the death of civilians constrained them to intensify the stir and impose the general strike.
A mass fast unto death agitation will also be launched in pursuit of the demand, said Kipgen.
A statement underlining the demand and standpoints of the SHDDC which was submitted to the Chief Minister made it clear that the demand of all the people of Sadar Hills is district-hood and nothing less.
Asking why the question of drawing up the boundary of district should arise whenever the demand to upgrade Sadar Hills to a district status is raised, Kipgen wondered if there were any similar exercise when the nine districts of Manipur were created.
Three committees have been formed by the Government to study the boundary issue and reports have been submitted and the desired adjustments have been made.
There is thus no question of boundary issue, said SHDDC in the statement.
Asserting that the people of Sadar Hills have stood by and will to stand by the territorial integrity of Manipur, the statement said that the people of Sadar Hills will refrain from any activities that may disturb the peace and harmony of Manipur.
There is no apprehension on the side of SHDDC and the people of Sadar Hills of any possible communal violence in the aftermath of the creation of Sadar Hills as a district.