Three more offices set afire, SHDDC impasse continue
Source: Hueiyen News Service
Imphal, August 05 2011:
Three more government offices have been burnt in and around Kangpokpi by volunteers of SHDDC today.
As the demand committee tightened its stand, tensions escalated on the fifth day of the agitation demanding for the declaration of Sadar Hills into a full fledged district.
With a meeting yesterday between the state government and representatives of SHDDC being inconclusive, the impasse on the movement of traffic on National Highways 39 and 53 continues.
A cabinet meeting today discussed the matter of granting districthood to Sadar Hills and pronounced it a genuine demand.
The cabinet however decided that an in-depth deliberation and wide ranging consultation is essential before granting the demand.
Meanwhile, reports said that at least three government offices in and around Kangpokpi were torched by strike supporters.
Around 10 pm yesterday, the office of the Primary Health Centre in Kalapahar near Kangpokpi was attacked by suspected volunteers of SHDDC.
In other incidents, Child evelopment Project Office and Sub Treasury Office, both in Kangpokpi, were set on fire by SHDDC volunteers between 1:20 am and 4 pm today.
A road leveler also came under attack of enraged strikers between Kangpokpi and Senapati headquarters at 1 pm today.
Speaking to the media today, SHDDC president Ngamkhohao Haokip noted that the general strike on National Highways 39 and 53 is likely to continue even if the government issues mere written assurances on granting the demand for a full fledged district of Sadar Hills.
In 1982 the then government had issued a written assurance for the declaration of Sadar Hills into a full fledged district but it did not honour it, he said.
According to Haokip, the state government led by CM, Okram Ibobi Singh did not seek from the SHDDC representatives to withdraw the ongoing general strike on the national highways.
He said the general strike in Sadar Hills and economic blockade on the national highways were not discussed and will continue as of now.
Tourism minister TN Haokip and Power minister Pumzathang who were part of the government delegates at the meeting yesterday noted that there is no reason why the government should not consider granting the demand for districthood of Sadar Hills, said SHDDC.
President of SHDDC Ngamkhohao Haokip also stated that today's editorial of local English daily, Hueiyen Lanpao, has needlessly provoked the people of Sadar Hills with its acerbic observation on the emerging issue.
"We are thankful" for the provocation, he said with visible sarcasm.
It is unfortunate that there are sections of people in society who are driven to upset communal harmony, he said.
If the newspaper does not tender an unconditional public apology, it will be banned in Sadar Hills, the president said while urging the people of the state to cooperate and support the demand for expeditious resolution of the three decade long impasse.
He also tendered an apology on behalf of SHDDC for the stranded travellers who have been stranded at Senapati since the indefinite general strike two days ago and assured every possible assistance.
The best way for the stranded passengers is to walk down from Senapati to Sekmai, he observed and said that the people of Sadar Hills will provide every assistance in their journey.
"The people of Sadar Hills have become very emotional and enraged with the way things have turned out that national highways are rendered completely out of bounds.
Even members of SHDDC are not spared.
They have had to walk long distances on foot during the general strike," he said. Meanwhile, large number of people from over 50 villages of Saikul block took out a massive rally from Thangkanphai playground to Saikul sub divisional office in support of the SHDDC demand.