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Manipur unrest gets online campaign

Amid an uneasy calm, Churachandpur women thronged in thousands at a local payground on Thursday mounting the pressure on the government to create separate administration for the hills tribe area of Manipur

Speakers after speakers in the open meeting demanded constitutional rights of the tribal people apart from immediate withdrawal of the three controversial bills. The third demand is a CBI probe into to the deaths of 9 people in the orgy of violence erupted in the area after the assembly cleared the bills. Moreover, they demand a separate administration for the tribals under the existing provisions in the Constitution.

They said that they were historically independent who were never a part of the Manipur, culturally or traditionally. They alleged to have been persistently harassed, oppressed, exploited and neglected for decades. This has forced them to vent their ire through demonstrations which led to the death of 9 people including a minor.

Online Campaign

In an online initiative, the tribal people in the princely state outline the root cause of the uneasy calm saying: On the 31st August, 2015, the Manipur Assembly passed 3 Bills namely the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, The Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 and the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015. The bills passed, identified as a direct threat to the very existence of the various ethnic communities in the state, are condemned and highly contested in the hill areas. The tribal populace and their representatives were not consulted in the whole process of adopting, drafting and passing of the aforementioned bills amounting to a clear violation of the constitutional safeguards of the tribals where it is mentioned that the tribes will solely have decisions pertaining to their land.

The Constitution of India in its Article 371C provides special provisions for Manipur. This Article provides the base for the formation of Hill Areas Committee - made up of 19 members elected to the State legislative Assembly from all the tribal areas - was envisaged to be the guardian of the tribal interests. The law dictates that the HAC must be consulted in all legislative matters affecting the hill area of the state. Further, the state governor must send the President annual reports on the administration of the hill areas, and the Central Government has the power to give direction to the state government regarding administration of these areas.

 Various tribal organisations and institutions have made their voices heard, conveniently disregarded by the Ibobi led government led to wide scale protests in the hill districts. The protests and strikes are held continuously and have completed 16 days as of now.

They demand constitutional rights of the tribal people apart from immediate withdrawal of the three controversialbills. The third demand is a CBI probe into to the deaths of 9 people in the orgy of violence erupted in the area after the assembly cleared the bills. Moreover, they demand a separate administration for the tribals under the existing provisions in the Constitution.

 They said that they were historically independent who were never a part of the Manipur, culturally or traditionally. They alleged to have been persistently harassed, oppressed, exploited and neglected for decades. This has forced them to vent their ire through demonstrations which led to the death of 9 people including a minor.

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Assam Times Staff

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