Apex CSOs join hands on Sadar Hills, Jiri issues
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, November 15 2016:
Apex civil society organisations of the State, namely AMUCO, CCSK, JAC Sadar Hills, KIM, KSO and UCM have joined hands on the twin issues of creating Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts.
Even though a joint team of the apex CSOs held a meeting with the Chief Minister, they did not receive a satisfactory response.
A 17-member delegation of the five CSOs held a meeting with Chief Minister O Ibobi and his Council of Ministers on the twin demands for creation of Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts and the resultant economic blockade.
Later speaking to media persons at the office of KIM, AMUCO president Ph Deban remarked that the twin demands for Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts are unlikely to see the light of day if what the Government leaders stated was any indication.
Moreover, the Government has so far shown little concern even as all sections of people have been suffering extreme misery on account of the indefinite economic blockade called by the UNC since November 1 .
The delegation of the five CSOs appealed to the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers to upgrade Sadar Hills and Jiribam as full fledged districts before the State Assembly election and re-organise district boundaries in such a manner that there is no boundary dispute, Deban conveyed.
He then asked the Government if it had initiated any measures to address the suffering of the masses as a result of the UNC's economic blockade.
Notably, a meeting of the five CSOs was held today at the office of UCM in two phases yesterday and the meeting decided to take up the issue with the State Government.
The delegation asked the State Government whether it was the fear of President's Rule which had been restraining them from fulfilling the decades old aspirations of the people of Sadar Hills and Jiribam.
Even as the delegates pointed out that the Government would be highly appreciated by the masses if Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts were created, the Government only asked the delegates to wait for some time.
With regard to the economic blockade, the Chief Minister only stated that his Government would wait for the outcome of the meeting between the Centre and the UNC.
But he said nothing about opening the highways with security forces.
The State Government was not serious with the Sadar and Jiribam district demands nor with the ongoing indefinite blockade nor with the resultant extreme misery endured by all sections of people, said the AMUCO leader.
He added that people could expect nothing from the State Government.
On being enquired about what their next course of action would be, Deban said that the issue would be discussed at a joint meeting in the next couple of days. "Even though representatives of Jiribam District Demand Committee (JDDC) were not present at the meeting, we have communicated with JDDC leaders", Deban said.
"The economic blockade may go on but what worries us more is the State Government's complete indifference to the misery of the masses", he continued.
The Chief Minister did not give a clear answer when the delegates asked if the Government had decided not to upgrade Sadar Hills and Jiribam as full fledged districts.
Deban went on to say that the five CSOs would go together in the future too rather than restricting their collective efforts to the current issues only.
JAC Sadar Hills convenor Nehkhothang Kipgen pointed out that demand for Sadar Hills district was 45 years year.
As communicated by the State Government to officially announce creation of Sadar Hills district on October 31, names of Chief Minister O Ibobi, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, IFC Minister Ngamthang Haokip, MLA Nemcha Kipgen and MLA Yamthong Haokip were engraved on a granite plaque.
People were expecting the arrival of Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues from Jiribam with the hope that they would officially announce creation of Sadar Hills district after doing the same for Jiribam, Nehkhothang Kipgen.
He went on to question the indifference of the State Government to the plight of Jiribam which is 222 Kms away from Imphal East district headquarters.
People of Sadar Hills always support Congress party.
All the three MLAs belong to Congress and they voted for Congress party in the MP elections too.
Congress party got absolute majority in the ADC election too but the Congress Government has failed miserably to uphold the people's confidence.
The party would definitely get a befitting reply from the people of Sadar Hills in the forthcoming State Assembly election.
KIM president Thangkhosei Haokip said that the issue was not about creation of districts alone.
It also evoked a serious question on who was actually in charge of governance and administration.