Stop killing! Separate administration for tribals of Manipur.
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. In bitter turn of events recently, the tribals who were persistently harassed, oppressed, exploited and neglected for decades, expressed their grievances through demonstrations which led to the death of 9 innocent civilians including a minor; mercilessly gunned down by the Manipur Commandoes sent from the valley districts.
The Manipur tribals were historically independent and were never a part of the Manipur, culturally or traditionally. The recent sleazy attempt by the Meiteis in collaboration with the Manipur Government to seize the lands of tribals and the inhumane treatments received time and over again are clear illustrations of the conditions of the tribals in the state.
Therefore, we take this opportunity and choose this platform to make our suppressed voices heard. In order to attain peace and restore normalcy in the tribal areas, we humbly request your honour to:
● Consider the rights of the tribals provided by the constitution of India and repeal the passed bills aforementioned.
● Issue an official CBI enquiry to the deaths of 9 innocent civilians.
● Arrange a Separate Administration for the tribals under the existing provisions in the Indian Constitution.
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