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CM Hints At AFSPA Status Quo In State

IMPHAL, Dec 11: Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh has categorically stated that as of now there is no definite stand of the Government on removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 from entire Manipur although the Act has been withdrawn from seven Assembly segments on trial basis.

Addressing a political conference of the Congress workers here today organized by Thangmeiband Block Congress Committee in connection with the year-long observance of 125th anniversary of Indian National Congress, Chief Minister O Ibobi explained that the Act is not being willfully imposed by the Government but in consideration of the fluid law and order situation in the State.

With the law and order condition of the State deteriorating day by day, as of now there is no stand on the part of the Government on withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 from the entire State of Manipur although it has been removed from seven Assembly segments on trial basis, the Chief Minister said.

It is the duty and responsibility of the Government to protect the people from the unwanted activities of causing destruction to properties of the people and the Government and depriving the rights of the people by some armed UGs, he said.

In consideration of the public demand for removal of the Act after it has given some impact on the lives of the people, although the Act had been enacted to protect properties and rights of the people, the Government withdrew the Act from seven Assembly segments on trial basis for the first time. Unfortunately, there has been no end to the destructive activities of armed UGs and the law and order situation in the State remains far from satisfaction. Thereby, the Government has taken no stand on withdrawal of the Act from entire Manipur as of now, the Chief Minister reiterated.

He further said that the Government does not like bloodshed among own brethren. But some human casualties may be inevitable in the action of the Government against those who are trying to destroy the properties of the Government and disturb peaceful living of the people.

The Government has always been trying to avoid such confrontations. As such, the public should support the Government in bringing about peace and development in the State, he appealed.

On the issue of integrity, the Chief Minister further pointed out that people of all communities living in Manipur too have a great role to play in protecting the integrity of Manipur.

“The State has been blessed with vast natural resources. But it is fear that all these resources would be lost with every communities thinking of their own. To save these natural resources and protect the integrity of Manipur, all of us should see beyond our narrow parochial outlook,” the Chief Minister exhorted.

On other activities to be taken up by the Government, the Chief Minister assured protection of customary rights and cultural identity of the tribes settling in different parts of the State and introduction of job oriented courses to solve the problem of unemployment being faced by the youth.

Presiding over the workers’ conference, MPCC president Gaikhangam reiterated that Congress party is the oldest and most trusted political party in the country.

Congress party does not discriminate the people on the basis of caste, creed, religion and color. That is why there is stability in any Government led by Congress. So, there is the need for strengthening the position of Congress party all the more, he exhorted the party workers.

He also exuded confidence that Congress candidates would fare well in the upcoming elections to Municipal Councils and Nagar Panchayats.

Reacting to boycott of Chief Minister and his Council of Minister from participation in the Orange festival to be held at Tamenglong, Gaikhangam said such opposition from a handful of people who always harbor negative attitude against any activity of the Government unfortunate.

It would be useless to talk of severance of ties from Manipur. Instead of such negative thoughts, it would be better to support the Govt in enhancing socio-economic value of the State, Gaikhangam stated.

Congress MLAs, Ministers, workers and Mahilas were also present.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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