`Sadar Hills delegate gets appointment with President, home minister`

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IMPHAL, August 16: A team of leaders comprising of elected representatives, social leaders executive members of the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee, which has been camping at the national capital since August 14 to pressure the central leaders with regards to the demand for a separate Sadar Hills district, is due to meet the President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil tomorrow which is likely to be followed by another meeting with the union home minister P.Chidambaram.

Talking to IFP over the phone from Delhi, Tonghen Kipgen, secretary of the SHDDC informed that, “The delegation will meet the President of India tomorrow morning followed by a meeting with the union home minister”.  

He said the team has received an appointment from the office of the President of India for 11 am tomorrow, however, the exact timing for the meeting with the union home minister is yet not clear, he added.

The SHDDC secretary further informed that the team today met the union minister of tribal affairs this afternoon around 1 pm.

Meanwhile, it may be added that the Sadar Hills delegate includes secretary SHDDC Tonghen Kipgen and two vice presidents of the committee along with Saitu MLA Haokholet Kipgen, Kangpokpi MLA and HAC chairman-Thangminlen Kipgen, Saikul MLA Doukhomang Khongsai; 26 elected members of the district councils including the ADC chairman SH Seipu, former MP- Paokai, former MLA Doungel and Ngamthang Haokip and president SAHILCA, TK. Kipgen. 

Back in the state, as part of the agitation demanding districthod to Sadar Hills under the aegis of the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee, a group of women protestors have started a fast unto death since this morning.

A source informed that altogether 11 womenfolk started the fasting from 9 am today at Keithelmanbi.

The number of fasting women could rise as there are possibilities for more protestors to join the demonstration, said the source.

At the same time, over thousands of protestors have barricaded the National Highway-2 at Gamgiphai and Kangpokpi, starting from early morning today as the deadline of the government for the protestors to stop their violent activities along the highways expired yesterday.

Moreover with the motive to prevent any vehicles from plying along the highway and to especially prevent security forces that are likely to launch a crackdown upon them, the protestors have dug out several pits which are several feet wide and deep on the road portion of NH 2 near the Kangpokpi bridge area, informed the sources.

It may be recalled that, the state cabinet while taking into account the scarcity of essential commodities in the state due to disturbances along both the national highways in the state, has warned the committee spear heading the protest to clear the highways by August 15 failing which it had informed to launched a crackdown against the protestors using security forces. 

Meanwhile, at least 300 vehicles are reportedly stranded along the National Highway-37 Imphal-Jiribam road awaiting security escort.

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