Blockade ends, Sadar Hills to be full-fledged district

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IMPHAL, Oct 31: The Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC), has finally lifted the longest ever blockade in the history of Manipur, following a written assurance from the State government to upgrade Sadar Hills as full fledged district at the earliest after the submission of report by the District Re-organisation Committee.

The agreement came a little after midnight.

The SHDDC imposed the economic blockade from August 1 and reached the 92 days mark on Monday.

The SHDDC’s decision comes after a marathon meeting held with the State government held till late into the night from around 9 pm.

Of the terms agreed upon in a memorandum of understanding between the two parties was first and foremost the government agreeing to upgrade Sadar Hills to a full-fledged district at the earliest after the submission or report of the District Re-organisation Committee.

The memorandum signed by four witnesses, Ngamkhohao Haokip, president SHDDC and Tonghen Kipgen, general secretary SHDDC, representing the SHDDC and D.S. Poonia, chief secretary and Sumant Singh, secretary to chief minister, representing the government, further said the government has agreed for the creation of the more subdivisions by bifurcating the existing three subdivisions.

Existing Kangpokpi subdivision would be divided into Champhai and T Vaichong subdivisions with headquarters at Champai and T. Vaichong. Existing Saikul subdivision would be divided into Saikul and Island subdivisions with headquarters at Saikul and Island. Existing Saitu-Gamphazol subdivision would be divided into Saitu-Gamphazol and Kangchup Geljang subdivisions with headquarters at Gamnom Saparmeina and Kangchup Geljang as headquarters.

The inauguration of these three subdivisions would be within the month of November 2011, the MoU further stated.

It also said the office of the SDO Champhai will be located at Kangpokpi temporarily till the construction of its office building is completed at Champai.

It further said the government is agreeable in principle to the creation of Lhungtin SDC Circle within Saikul subdivision.

Further, the memorandum stated that the government “has agreed to withdraw all legal cases against SHDDC leaders and volunteers and other legal involvement over the agitation.”

Earlier on October 31 morning a round of talks was held between the two sides. After the meeting the SHDDC reportedly held a close door meeting and later again went to for another round of meeting with government representatives.

Speaking to media persons outside the official bungalow of Chief Minister after the meeting, SPF spokesperson and IFCD minister, N. Biren, announced that “The state government after a meeting with the representatives of SHDDC came to a conclusion following which the SHDDC agreed to lift the blockade immediately. The government also gave its assurance to the committee”.

The SPF spokespersons said, Chief Minister, O. Ibobi Singh, deputy speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly-Th. Lokeshore, Works minister K. Ranjit, chief secretary, DS. Poonia and secretary to Chief Minister, Sumant Singh, represented the state government while Ngamkhohao Haokip-president SHDDC, general secretary-Tonghen Kipgen and SHDDC’s vice president represented on behalf of the committee.

Ngamkhohao Hoakip, president SHDDC, said that committee held a round of meeting yesterday taking serious note of the suffering of the general public, the biggest festival of ‘Kut’ of the Chin-Kuki-Mizos and also the proposed visit of the Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram.

He said “The meet also took serious note of the reputation of the state government in the wake of the proposed visit of the union home minister and finally resolved to lift the blockade”.

As per the memorandum of understanding signed by the Chief Secretary, DS Poonia, Sumant Singh, secretary to chief minister and Ngamkhohao Haokip, president SHDDC and Tonghen Kipgen, general secretary, SHDDC, the Government of Manipur has agreed to upgrade Sadar Hills as full-fledged District at the earliest after submission of report of the District Re-organization Committee.

It further said that the Government of Manipur has agreed for creation of sub-Division/TD Block by bifurcating the existing 3 (three) Sub-Divisions.

As per the MoU the existing Kangpokpi Sub-division will proposed to split into Champhai and T. Vaichong sub division, for Saikul it is proposed to split into- Saikul and Island- subdivision while the Saitu-Gamphazol-sub dvision into Saitu-Gamphazol and Kangchip Geljang.

Inauguration of the newly proposed 3 (three) Sub-Divisions will be done within the month of November, 2011, it further said.

The Office of the SDO Champhai will be located at Kangpokpi temporarily till the construction of its Office building is completed at Champhai.

The Govt. is agreeable in principle for creation of Lhungtin SDC Circle within Saikul Sub-Division, further mentioned the MoU.

The State Government of Manipur has also agreed to withdraw all the legal cases against SHDDC leaders and volunteers and other legal involvement over the agitation. In view of the hardship faced by the people of Manipur and in consideration of the commitment of the State Government, the SHDDC agree to suspend the ongoing economic blockade with immediate effect, stated the MoU.

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