IMPHAL, Oct 24 : Even as a Ministerial team was waiting for a dialogue with Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) today, none of the committee members turned up for the scheduled dialogue.
Talking to The Sangai Express, SHDDC general secretary Tonghen Kipgen informed that a meeting of the committee was held today and it decided not to go for the dialogue as the committee has lost whatever faith it reposed in the Government on account of its repeated failure to fulfil its assurances given earlier including last night’s meeting.
Meanwhile, a press release issued by SHDDC informed that the ongoing economic blockade on the two National Highways would be intensified even during and after the elections.
Public rallies within Sadar Hills and general strikes throughout the State would be organised to press the Government for realisation of the demand for districthood.
As decided earlier, all Government functions, election campaigns and all forms of electioneering would remain banned in Sadar Hills, it conveyed.
SHDDC members held a meeting with the Chief Minister last night in the presence of representatives of several civil society organisations.
The meeting which went on till late night was terminated after the two sides agreed to continue the meeting at 3 pm today.
As agreed last night, the Chief Minister, some Cabinet Ministers, the Chief Secretary and other high-ranking Government offi- cials were waiting for the SHDDC members this afternoon.
On being enquired by The Sangai Express about the failure of the SHDDC members to turn up, Tonghen Kipgen informed that the committee decided to skip the meeting as they have no more faith in the Government.
To another query, the general secretary disclosed that Chief Minister O Ibobi asked for six months after the 10th Manipur Legislative Assembly elections in response to their appeal for declaring Sadar Hills a full fledged district before the elections.
It was not only yesterday’s assurance, many other similar assurances given earlier were never put into action, Tonghen said.
Keeping faith in the State Government’s assurance to grant district status to Sadar Hills after inauguration of Kangpokpi mini- secretariat, the SHDDC waited for two years.
But after completion of the mini-secretariat complex, the Government was only buying more and more time.
It was such dilly-dallying tactics of the Govern- ment which compelled the SHDDC to launch the present phase of agitation.
The Chief Minister gave another assurance to initiate the official process of declaring Sadar Hills a full fledged district after the Committee on Reorganisation of Administrative Police Boundaries submit its report after two months.
Though the committee has completed two months, nothing substantial has been taken up by the Government towards fulfilling the long cherished demand of Sadar Hills people, Tonghen lamented.
Such continuous betrayal by the Chief Minister has only robbed the people off whatever faith they had in the assurances given by the Government.
As the committee too has little faith in the Government, it decided not to go for the scheduled meeting with the Government.
On the other hand, the committee during the meeting with Government last night, proposed creation three more sub-divisions in addition to the existing three sub-divisions of Sadar Hills.
The newly proposed sub-divisions were T Waichong sub-division (to be separated from Kangpokpi sub-division), Changningpokpi sub-division (to be created from Saikul sub-division) and Kangchup-Geljang sub-division (to be separated from Saitu-Gamphazol sub-division).
Source: The Sangai Express