IMPHAL, Aug 14 � Manipur has been experiencing another round of hard time due to intense agitations over the demand of creation of a new district by Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC).
The �economic blockade� on the two National Highways 39 and 53 which connects the State with the rest of the country, has entered the ninth day today forcing the people of the State to face further hardship. Calling economic blockade on the highways means blocking of the supply lines.
But the State Government�s inaction to the ongoing situation has provoked the driver and transporter bodies in the State. All Manipur Petroleum Tanker Drivers� Union (AMPTDU) president Bhupendra Ghosh has criticised the government for not providing adequate security escort during the ongoing general strike not to speak of giving any care and aid to the injured drivers and transporters who are lying in hospitals. The Union has threatened to stop transporting of goods very soon if the government remained silent.
The decision was taken in a joint meeting of the Imphal Silchar Road Transporters� Welfare Society, All Manipur Petroleum Tankers Drivers� Union, Manipur Drivers� Welfare Association and All Manipur Inter-State Bus Association held in Imphal recently.
Meanwhile, the United Naga Council (UNC) has cautioned the State Government of serious consequences if the Sadar Hills district is created without consulting the Nagas.
The UNC stated that the Nagas had signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Manipur in this regard in the past. It said that as per the MoU, the resolution to the conflict on the issue of Sadar Hills will be brought about through a consensus of the people concerned in the interest of bringing about lasting peace and harmony.
A second round of talks between the government and the striking SHDDC to reach an understanding has failed to produce any positive result. Paokai Haokip, former MP and SHDDC mediator said that representatives of the demand committee have laid down a strong case for a prompt declaration of Sadar Hills district and served the government an August 15 deadline.
SHDDC has been demanding the declaration of Sadar Hills district for nearly four decades. It should be declared without any further delay, Haokip said after emerging from the hour-long meeting with the Chief Minister on Monday.
He added that the CM himself admitted that the demand for a full-fledged district is a genuine demand. However, the State Government is yet to pronounce a decision in connection with the demand.