Government ready for dialogue: Gaikhangam sends out message

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IMPHAL, September 3: Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam assured the people of the hills that the three bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31 will not affect the hill areas or interest of the hill people.

Reiterating an assurance made repeatedly by the Chief Minister, he said The Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill 2015 and the two related bills will not affect the interest of the people of hills.

Speaking to media persons at his official quarter at Babupara this morning, the deputy Chief Minister said if in case any mistakes in the bills are pointed out, the State government is ready to rectify it.

He said the Chief Minister has already sent out his invitations to the local bodies, civil society organisations to discuss the grievances of the people and is awaiting their responses.

He said the situation in Churachandpur is still tense, but it is under control.

The government is determined to send the chief secretary at Churachandpur to have dialogue with local leaders, students`™ bodies and civil society organisations, Gaikhangam said.

`We expect some development will take place in a day or so,` he said.

Additional DGP Manipur LM Khoute and other senior police officers are presently stationed there at Churachandpur and they have requested the civil society leaders to discuss the issue, he continued.

If there are enough reasons to withdraw the bills, it could be considered, Gaikhangam said, replying to a media query on the demand of the agitators to withdraw the bill within 10-days.

`The first and foremost thing is to sit together and iron out the differences and if there is any room for rectification the government is ready to do that,` he added.

`As far as the government is concerned we can`™t find or we don`™t find anything wrong that can affect the interest of hill people in the bills passed by the Assembly,` he maintained.

`I on behalf of the government would like to express our deepest condolence for the loss of precious lives during the agitation and also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured persons,` he further said.

The incidents of burning down of houses and properties of MLAs and ministers might have been caused due to lacking of communication, misunderstanding and rumors, he said, and appealed the people not to believe in rumours.

On being asked if there was any negligence on the part of the police that led to the agitators succeeding in burning down the houses and properties of the MLAs and ministers, he replied that the police are helpless as they cannot spray bullets on the armless agitators.

The police have done their best to control the mob by various means including lathi charge, firing mock bombs and tear gas cells etc.

`Meitei, Kuki, Naga, Meitei Pangan are all children of our mother Manipur. We have to live together so please calm down and talk the things out,` he added.

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