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KSDC calls off public bandh following Govt assurance

IMPHAL, November 22: The total blockade imposed at Kuki inhabited areas since November 17 evening has been called off from today following an agreement between the State Government representatives and Kuki State Demand Committee.

After the first rounds of talks held on November 20 which had failed to reach to a positive conclusion, the second round of talks was held today at the office chamber of Deputy Chief Minister, Gaikhangam at Old Secretariat. The meeting began at 6.30 pm.

The State Government was represented by Deputy CM Gaikhangam, Education, Chief Secretary DS Poonia, CAF and PD minister M Okendro, Saikhul MLA Yanmthong Haokip, DGP Y Joykumar, Additional DGP LM Khoute and special home secretary Ak Sinha.

The KSDC was represented by its Chairman, Henjang Haokip, vice-chairman Sonthang Haokip, general secretary and spokesperson Benjamin Mate with information secretary K Khongsai.

The meeting discussed the demands of the KSDC and after the deliberation, it was assured that the representatives of the State Government will urge the Central leaders, especially the Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to initiate political dialogue with the two umbrella Kuki underground groups namely Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United Peoples Front (UPF). The talks will also be attended by members of the Kuki State Demand Committee which is slated to be held after the ongoing winter session of the Parliament.

The proceedings of today’s meeting was jointly signed by Special Secretary Home, AK Sinha and General Secretary of KSDC, Benjamin Mate.

The KSDC also showed its gratitude to the people of Manipur who faced the suffering of the public blockade which was a last resort stance to thwart the negligence shown by the Government of India. It also shares the grief faced by the public during the blockade.

It may be mentioned that the Committee had expressed priorly that the Government of India is not sincere to the Kuki demand for a separate Kuki state as they are with the Naga’s demand. It was claimed that a step motherly treatment was meted to the Kukis by the government.

Meanwhile, trucks carrying essential commodities and other passenger buses at Senapati have started to arrive at the State capital in the late evening. Similarly, vehicles from Jiribam are also arriving along the National Highway 37 after the receipt of the agreement reached today.

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