Venue impasse lurks as CM sticks to Imphal
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 25: One day after the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur made it known to the State Government that it is ready to hold talks subject to the condition that it is held outside Imphal, Chief Minister O Ibobi has today written to the student body that the talk should be held at Imphal.

Spokesman of the SPF Government, Gaikhangam informed newsmen today evening after a Cabinet meeting that a message has been sent to ANSAM inviting them to come to Imphal for the talk.

The Government has assured that adequate security will be provided if they have any reservations of coming to Imphal over this point, said Gaikhan-gam and added that a reply is yet to be received from the student body.

Talking to The Sangai Express spokesman of ANSAM, Ngachonmi Chamroy today said that the Chief Minister has intimated to them that the talk should be held at Imphal.

"The CM also informed us that the June 18 declaration will not be revoked," added Chamroy.

The stand of the Chief Minister was conveyed to ANSAM by the Secretary to the Chief Binod Kispotta, said Chamroy and added that till date the Government has not shown any inclination to address the demand raised by the student body.

The spokesman further said that ANSAM has neither rejected nor accepted the stand of the State Government and informed that a collective decision of the student body will be taken.

The Government has not shifted an inch from its earlier stand and is intent on imposing its earlier decision on ANSAM, charged the spokesman.

Setting the record straight, Chamroy said that ANSAM had never said that it will talk only with the Governor.

Reiterating the earlier decision taken by ANSAM, the spokesman said the economic blockade does not cover conveyance of press material and life saving drugs.

In the meantime, ADGP (LO) JC Dabbas on being contacted by The Sangai Express today said that so far 50 cases have been registered against ANSAM volunteers ever since it began the economic blockade agitation and non-co-operation movement in the four hill districts.

The four hill districts are Senapati, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Chandel.

Police are on the look out for the ANSAM volunteers, informed the senior police officer but added that till date not a single volunteer has been arrested.

In case any ANSAM activist is arrested, the law will take its own course of action, added Dabbas.

Meanwhile the All Heirok Meira Paibi Development Association has categorically stated that the Chief Minister should not accept the condition laid down by ANSAM to hold talks outside Imphal or concede to the demand to revoke the June 18 declaration.

In a statement, Association general secretary Th Rasabati Devi said the Association would not take it lightly if the CM hold the talks in connection with the ongoing economic blockade along the NHs anywhere beyond Imphal.

Although the Assn welcomed the gesture of ANSAM in accepting the Chief Minister's invitation for resolving the present crisis, it would very unfortunate if the Chief Minister conceded to the laid down by the agitating students' body, the Association said.