TODAY -

Jiri district demand : Hawkish stand on card
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 01 2011: With consensus eluding the october 30 talks between a team of Jiribam District Demand Committee (JDDC) and Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, the former in pursuit of its demand is all set to intensify the agitation, which was suspended to facilitate a negotiated settlement.

Contrary to the Committee's proposal that a definite stand of the SPF Government on the district demand issue be announced within 15 days, the CM reportedly informed the Committee members that decision, if any, on the issue would be processed based on report supposed to be tabled by the Committee on Re-organisation of Administrative and Police District Boundaries (CRA & PDB) to the Government within three months at the latest, thereby stalling the said talks.

Speaking to The Sangai Express, JDDC convenor M Maipaksana said in response to the Government's invitation for talks on the issue, the Committee suspended its agitation plan but is compelled to re-launch the same as there is no sign of the State Government honouring its demand especially with the Chief Minister insisting on first studying report of CRA & PDB before any action is initiated.



A map showing Jiribam sub-division in Imphal East
A map showing Jiribam sub-division in Imphal East


The convenor also disclosed that even though the talks failed, intimation has been received from the Chief Minister that another joint meeting be held between the Government and the Committee after finalising the date with the Jiribam AC representative Th Debendra, who is also the Revenue and Law & Legislative Affairs Minister in the SPF Government.

Inspite of the CM's missive the Committee is of the view that neither the proposed meeting with Th Debendra will yield the desired result nor is the Government likely to honour its demand, Maipaksana opined adding that no further talks with the Government will endorsed.

With the JDDC not expecting any positive response from the Government and thus resolving to re-launch the suspended agitation in an more intense manner, members of the Committee currently in the State capital have been consulting leaders of various civil society organisations, including student bodies to seek their support in the movement.

Highlighting that in pursuit of the demand various form of agitation, including mass sit-in-protests, bandhs, blockades and rallies were undertaken in the past to which the Government had conceded that the demand is genuine, Maipaksana said failure to translate the assurances into action compelled the Committee to launch the agitation more vigorously.

He further confided that as most of the civil society organisations and student bodies have their head offices in Imphal JDDC members are meeting representatives/members of these organisations for success of the agitation.

The convenor also mentioned that on completion of the ongoing mobilisation a meeting of the JDDC would be convened after which the agitation plan will be made public.

alleging that the State Government ignores any issue brought to its notice until the demand is followed by intense agitation, he regretted that the common public will be exposed to severe inconveniences as the JDDC will be left with no other alternative than to pursuit its demand in an intense manner.

It may mentioned that the JDDC withdrew its initial plan to enforce blockade of the Imphal-Jiribam section of NH-53 (renamed NH-37) from August 14 onward in response to the Chief Minister's invitation for a meeting subsequently followed by a joint meeting between a Committee team with the Works Minister K Ranjit and State Planning Board Deputy Chairman Bijoy Koijam.

The chief factor cited by the Committee for its demand relates to administrative inconveniences due to distant location of Jiribam, currently a sub-division of Imphal East district, from its district headquarters entailing travel by road for over 230 kilometres along the poorly maintained NH-53 and cost factor in reaching the headquarters by air, the nearest location being Kumbigram in Silchar.


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