IMPHAL, December 17: The state Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh today inaugurated the newly constructed Autonomous District Council at Kangpokpi amidst a tense situation arising out of suspected Kuki militants firing several rounds of gunfire some 30 minutes ahead of the Chief Minister’s arrival to the venue and continuing even after his arrival.
The Chief Minister arrived at 12 noon at the venue even though the suspected Kuki militants kept on firing from a distant Heijang hill range on the eastern side of the venue which is about six to seven kms far from the venue.
The gun fire started at around 11:30am even in the presence of a heavy security arrangement at the venue and surrounding areas.
Meanwhile undeterred with the indiscriminate firing, the state Chief Minister continued with his tour and inaugurated the new ADC building. The Chief Minister along with the revenue minister Th Debendro also laid foundations stones of four SDO office buildings of Champhai, Tujang Waichong, Kangchup Geljang and Island sub-divisions and the SDC office building of Lungtil Circle. The foundation stones were laid at the venue of the ADC office complex Kangpokpi.
Speaking at the function, O Ibobi urged the people of the state to avoid using bandhs and blockades to press for their demands and further added that solutions to any problems could be brought with peaceful dialogues.
He further expressed the urgent need for all the communities residing in the state led by the three main communities to bring about a peaceful co-existence in the state.
The state government has no objection in announcing Sadar Hills as a full-fledged district; however the state government also need to consider the required infrastructures and man-power to upgrade Sadar Hills as a full-fledged district.
In order to do so, the state has already started taking up steps to maintain the proper infrastructure and man-power in Sadar Hills area, the Chief Minister added.
Further during the function, Chief Minister O Ibobi addressed the gathering that the steps taken up in Sadar Hills in building infrastructures including the ADC building which is inaugurated today and the laying of foundation stones for four separate SDO office buildings have been taken up considering the MoU signed between Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee and the state government.
In his presidential speech, state revenue minister Th Devendro stated that the two main issues lying in front of the government are demands for full-fledged district status of Sadar Hills and Jiribam. He further acknowledged the demands for a full-fledged Sadar hills district as authentic and realistic. However the nature of the demand is such that the government could not act hastily but has to consider all pros and cons of granting the district status before acting on it.
He further added that the state government is trying in its best level to enhance the infrastructure and man-power in Sadar Hills required for the upgradation.
He further seconded the appeal of the state to bring a congenial atmosphere in the state, and added that all communities should participate in developing the state.
The state revenue minister also mentioned that there is no biasness in using the funds allocated to the state by the centre. The SPF government has always tried to maintain a uniform development in both hills and valleys districts of the state.
Speaking at the function, local MLA and HAC chairman Thangmilien Kipgen stated that the inauguration of the ADC building today has added a milestone for the people of the Sadar hills and signifies that the government is inclined to announcing Sadar Hills as a district.
Drawing the attention of the Chief Minister, the local MLA stated that immediate security protection and a hall are needed at the newly inaugurated ADC building.
He further appealed to the people of Sadar Hills to acknowledge the steps taken up by the state government to bring development and considering the wills of the general public and as such the people should also extend their cooperation to the state government.
Meanwhile, both the Chief Minister and the revenue minister failed to comment on the indiscriminate firing.
The inaugural function was also attended by state works minister K Ranjit, Saitu-Gamphajol MLA Haokholet Kipgen, and other dignitaries.