Govt accused of dilly-dallying on Sadar Hills and AFSPA
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 03 2011:
The Indigenous Kuki People's Forum, Sanjenthong chassad Avenue has alleged that delaying tactics of the Government of Manipur on the issue of Sadar Hills and AFSPA 1958 is the chief cause of the common people continuing to suffer.
Briefing newspersons at Manipur Press Club today, Forum's secretary general Lien Gangte said as different Chief Ministers and several Ministers/MLAs had already termed demand for upgrading Sadar Hills to a full-fledged revenue district as genuine and justifiable non-committal of the present Government on the issue deserves a convincing explanation.
Lamenting that inspite hardships faced by the people as a consequence of economic blockade and general strike in pursuit of demand for Sadar Hills district the SPF Government is yet to make a commitment on whether or not the demand would be conceded, he affirmed that genesis of disruption in the transportation of essential commodities into Manipur is due to inept handling of the issue by the Government.
Further opining that as leaders of the Central Government had already endorsed demand for Sadar Hills there should be similar response from those in the helm of affairs in the State, he posed as to whether a hidden agenda is constraining the O Ibobi Singh Government from going ahead and according district status to Sadar Hills.
Ridiculing the Government's recent announcement of constituting a committee for the purpose of studying feasibility on reorganisation of district boundaries in the aftermath of the demand for district status to Sadar Hills, Lien opined that there should be no dispute on the boundary of Sadar hills as the three Blocks of Sadar Hills clearly specify its geographical coverage.
Extending support to over 10 years of campaign by Irom Chanu Sharmila for total repealing of Armed Forces' special Powers Act (AFSPA 1958), Lien suggested that lifting of 'disturbed area' should be extended in the entire State rather than limiting the ambit to within Imphal.
Noting that not only Sharmila but the entire population is suffering due to imposition of the draconian Act in Manipur, he said instead of giving unbridled power to the security forces under the AFSPA 1958 police reform advocating respect of basic human rights will yield positive response from the common people in addressing the issue of insurgency.
Instead of confining security force personnel in and around Imphal, it would be more appropriate if these law enforcing agencies are deployed in securing the national highways from disruptive elements, he added.
Forum president Rehang Chothe, who was also present at the media briefing said depriving people of Sadar Hills their right to equal benefit under the Constitution of India triggered blockade of national highways for it is the wish of every citizen to enjoy fruits of development.