Sadar Hills talk fails again; committee sets August 15 deadline

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A charred Tata Sumo lies at Kangpokpi along the National Highway-2
IMPHAL, August 8: Two days after the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee had committed itself against negotiations with the state government before the state grant their demand, the second round of talk between the mediators of the committee and the state government also failed to materialize into anything amicable.

At the same time, the committee has also decided to further intensify its agitation incase the government fail to fulfill its demand by August 15.

After the inconclusive talk of August 4 between the state government and mediators of the SHDDC, a second round of talks which was held today at the Chief Minister’s official bungalow at around 1 pm was also attended by representatives of the committee apart from the mediators.

The state government was represented by Chief Minister, O. Ibobi Singh, Haokholet Kipgen Saitu MLA and Kangpokpi MLA, Thangminlen Kipgen while the committee was represented by Thangmang Misao, Hemang Singsit and Jampu Kipgen and Paokai Haokip former MP acted as the mediator.

Briefing media persons after the talk, in front of the Nupilal complex, Paokai Haokip stated that both sides genuinely discussed the burning issue of Sadar Hills, however failed to come to any consensus solution.

He further informed that even though the Chief Minister has acknowledge the genuine demand of the committee and also assured to table the issue further at a cabinet meet, he failed to reassure anything concrete at the moment.

He further revealed that the Chief Minister has appealed to the committee to relax the agitation as the general public is facing difficulties because of the indefinite general strike call along the NHs, the committee remained adamant with their stand of continuing with the agitation.

The committee further pressed the government to grant districthood to Sadar hills by August 15 failing which it warned to further intensified their agitation, further disclosed Paokai.

Paokai further disclosed that, as today’s talk remained inclusive further round of talk is likely to be convened before August 15.       

On the other hand, aggrieved strike supporters continue to attack government properties and vehicles which were found defying the strike.

Sources said that, a Tata Sumo bearing registration number AS01P-1020 was set ablaze beyond redemption at Kangpokpi bazaar by strike supporters. 

Meanwhile, in a separate matter, transporters plying along both the NHs in the state have urged the government to address the grievances of the truckers who were inflicted with injuries during the strike of the SHDDC failing which it has warned to stay off the road indefinitely.  

Talking to media persons in this regards at the Driver’s Welfare Association, Tera bazaar office, Bhupenchandra Gosh, recalled that on July 31 midnight SHDDC imposed economic blockade along both the National Highways of the state. Moreover, the committee followed the economic blockade with an indefinite strike further intensifying their agitation.

During this period many vehicles plying along the NH have been inflicted with injuries besides injuring the transporters. The situation have been aggravated and amidst these two drivers who sustained serious injuries due to the inhumane act of strike supporters, whom Gosh has alleged to have assaulted the drivers, remained unattended till date.

Gosh urged the government to give necessary assistance to the victims. He further warned that the transporter especially the truckers on essential services will stay off the road if the government failed to attend to the victims.

Further he urged the government to provide regular ROP besides standby measures to response to the any eventuality adding he further appeal the government to be concrete on its stand with regards to the demand of the SHDDC.

He appealed the strike supporters to avoid being harsh on transporters who are putting their life in the service of the people of the state.

The meet was jointly organized Imphal Silchar Road Transporter’s Society, All Manipur Inter state bus association, All Manipur Petroleum Tankers Drivers’ Union and Drivers’ welfare association.

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