IMPHAL, November 2: The Union minister for home affairs, P Chidambaram, today said that the government of India is more committed to spend money for development in the North eastern region rather than for the security forces including the army and Assam Rifles.
The Union home minister who arrived today at the state capital on a two day visit was addressing a gathering organized at the Senapati community hall, in connection with the inauguration of the newly constructed mini-secretariat and a 50 bedded district Hospital there.
The Union home minister further elaborated that the funds provided by the centre are meant for various developmental works in the state, however due to lack of peace in the state, the funds are being used for security reasons.
While urging the people to accommodate the mindset of being an Indian, he said, “We all belong to one country. Every state in the country is a plural state with different ethnic tribes, religions, caste and creed”.
He further asserted that any issue or problem no matter how complex it may be can be solved through dialogue. “More development will take place if there is peace and for that matter there is no lack of funds with the centre, he said.
He also revealed that the security problem in the entire North eastern region has dramatically improved since the last one year and asserted most of the militant groups are in talks with the central government.
Meanwhile, the state Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh who accompanied the Union minister, in contrary to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) and the state government recently, said that the government will grant districthood to Sadar Hills only based on a consensus of the people concerned.
While reiterating the government’s concern for all the communities residing in the state, he said the government will not incur other problems just to solve a problem. He further opined that the MoU signed between the government and the SHDDC will be studied carefully, however the government will take no hasty decision on the issue as it concerns various communities.
Even if the re-organisation committee submits its report the government will not take decision based on that but consult all the NGOs, local bodies, leaders etc. before taking the final decision to avoid hurting others sentiments, the Chief Minister maintained.
“We must be answerable to our decision to everyone residing in the state” he further said.
The Chief Minister also said that the people must learn to adjust with one another considering the fact that all are sons/daughters of the state and asserted that to learn to “forgive and forget”.
A close door meeting was also held between the Home minister and the Chief Minister with the representatives of the UNC which lasted for about half an hour. However none of the parties, UNC and home minister, were willing to comment on the issue discussed during the meeting. The UNC and Naga People’s Organisation also submitted their separate memorandum to the Union home minister.
The home minister was also accompanied by power minister Phunzathang Tonsing, education minister DD. Thaisii, AICC north east in charge-Luzinho Falerio.
As soon as the helicopter of the Union home minister landed at the Senapati playground at around 10:20am UNC supporters greeted the visiting Home minister and team with banners saying, “Not welcome communal government of Manipur to the alternative arrangement territory”, “Expedite Indo-Naga peace talk”, “Welcome P. Chidambaram home minister GOI to alternative arrangement territory”.
The Union home minister first inaugurated the 50 bedded district hospital before inaugurating the mini secretariat.
Right after the departure of the home minister and his team, the public curfew imposed by the ANSAM was effectively observed. No single persons were allowed to roam the streets moreover no vehicles were allowed to ply on the streets of Senapati.
All business establishments were forced to close during the curfew.
The curfew which came into effect from 12 noon till 1 pm disrupted normal traffic along the National Highway-2 (formerly known as 39) however there were no reports of any major incident.