Three more Sadar Hills district demand hunger strikers arrested

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IMPHAL, Sept 30: Three more women hunger strikers staging fast unto death at Sapermaina demanding a separate Sadar Hills district, have been sent to judicial custody by the duty magistrate, CJM Senapati today.

The three hunger strikers have been fasting since September 23 at Sapermaina bazaar. Personnel of the police station concerned arrested the strikers this morning around 8 am as their condition started to deteriorate.

They were produced before the duty magistrate, CJM Senapati, Rajnikanta this afternoon around 2 pm today.

Sources said that the arrests were bailable, however the strikers vowed to continue with their hunger strike soon after their release. Considering the potential threat to themselves, the court sent the strikers to judicial custody.

The three women strikers identified as one Kimlhai Lhouvum, 50, w/o Ngamjang of S. Bollen, Hatneng Khongsai, 54, w/o (L) Thonghao of Eastern Sapermaina and Ngamthem Gangte, 54, w/o (L) Paojalet of Salem have been sent to the central Jail Imphal.

One of the women protestors said, “The government has been indifferent to the demand of the Sadar Hills people and we will continue our strike until our demands are met”.

Vahchin, a woman leader, expressed her resentment over the indifferent attitude of the Chief Minister and his council of ministers in the last 2 months.

She further appealed the general public not to interpret the blockade as harassment meted out to them.

On the other hand, the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee has decided to convene a leaders’ meet tomorrow, to discuss the further course of action to be undertaken in the month of October.

The meeting will be held at the Council Hall Kangpokpi at 11:30 am attended by the committee members, MLAs, Ex-MLA, MDCs, representative of the Chief’s Association and church leaders.

The meet will also review the progress of the agitation so far and chalk out its third phase of agitation to be conducted in October, Sources said.

The people of Sadar Hills is left with no choice but to use the blockade as their tool as they have tried many means for the last 40 years, further maintained Vahchin.

In the meantime, the Leimakhong Area Chiefs’ Organization has submitted a memorandum to the chief secretary, DS Poonia, chairman of the re-organistaion committee strongly opposing any move for re-organisation.

It warned any motive or compulsive inclusion of Leimakhong Area into Imphal West district will only invite and ignite communal disharmony, public unrest and even violence, of which the government and the committee will be solely responsible.

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