SADAR hills agitation at full steam
Two agitators shot at, essential commodities rise sky high
Source: Hueiyen News Service
Imphal, August 06 2011:
The indefinite general strike and economic blockade launched by SHDDC demanding for a full fledged district of SADAR Hills is at full steam.
Agitators began digging up holes on NH 39 at different places as a part of the agitation.
Passengers including women and children who are at Senapati because of the ongoing strike were seen walking to Kanglatongbi on foot.
Meanwhile, as the indefinite general strike across Sadar Hills entered its sixth day today, price rise began to ruffle the common man as the price of cooking LPG rose to ' 800 per cylinder in the black market.
There is an apprehension that the availability of other essential commodities may become a problem too in the next few days.
The demand committee has sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister to intervene for speedy resolution of the impasse.
A local source said that two volunteers of the district demand committee were shot by 7th and 2nd Manipur Rifles troopers stationed at Kalapahar's Village Defence Force (VDF) post yesterday at 10:30 pm as they were returning home after torching the Public Health Centre and Sub Post Office located at Kalapahar.
The two victims are both residents of Keithelmanbi and have been identified as Thangkholal Lhouvum (17), son of Leikhohao and Thangzalien (18), son of Sheihang.
While the former sustained an injury on his right leg the latter was hit in his left elbow.
They have both been admitted to Civil Hospital at Kangpokpi.
There are also reports that several government offices that were doused and salvaged from arson yesterday came under fresh attacks of strike supporters.
The Deputy Inspector of school office, ICDS office and the SDO office that were partially razed yesterday before being salvaged by the police have now been burnt beyond redemption at 3 am Saturday.
Speaking to the media after a public meeting today, general secretary of SHDDC Tonghen Kipgen said that the state government is deliberately trying to create trouble by employing commandos and IRB personnel to use force in suppressing the general strike in Sadar Hills.
"If this is what the government wants, we are ready to rise up to the occasion and face it," he said.
Reacting to voices of disapproval it has received during the past few days for its activities, Kipgen said that the committee (SHDDC) is least bothered by such censure because it only goes to prove that people are aware of the issue.
The general secretary went on to inform that the committee has received a fresh invitation from the Chief Minister for another round of talks but the offer had been rejected.
"It is quite meaningless to talk without any attempt at resolving the issue," he said.
General Secretary of Chandel unit of Thadou Students' Association, James Haokip informed that if the state government remains apathetic to the SHDDC demand they will be forced to support and join the ongoing agitation which has paralyzed Sadar Hills for six days.
He also sought an answer from the state government for its lackadaisical attitude on the Sadar Hills issue and the lack of initiative to resolve the issue forthwith.
The memorandum submitted by the demand committee today sought the intervention of the Prime Minister in order to bring about speedy resolution to the 40 decades long Sadar Hills issue.
It observed that in order to usher in speedy development and protection for the hill peoples in Manipur, the Parliament of India, under the Constitution, enacted Manipur (Hill Area) Autonomous District Council Act in 1971.While five of the earmarked six ADCs, Tamenglong, Ukhrul, Tengnoupal/Chandel, Senapati and Churachandpur, have already been created and remains functional, the fate of Sadar Hills ADC remains unfulfilled.
After waiting for three years, the people of Sadar Hills formed the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) in 1974.Since then, successive state governments had been asked for the complete implementation of the 1971 act in Sadar Hills, it said.
Even as the demand for Sadar Hill district has been scaled up from a 7-day economic blockade that began July 31 midnight to an indefinite general strike beginning Wednesday, tension has been mounting across Sadar Hills, with three persons already dead in blockade related incidents and over ten government offices torched by strike volunteers.
Around ten "defiant" vehicles have also been torched by blockade supporters at several places along National Highways 39 and 53 and several others damaged.
Some drivers and co-travellers also sustained varying degree of injuries.