Senapati: The All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) in its “emergency legislative assembly” on September 15, 2022 at ANSAM Secretariat, Tahamzam (Senapati) unanimously denounced the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) clandestinely signed on August 7, 2022 between the Government of Manipur, the chairman of Hill Area Committee and members of ATSUM, KSO-GHQ and ANSAM without any consultation with the executive council and constituent units. According to the Naga student body, after an in-depth lengthy discussion, the ANSAM ‘emergency legislative assembly’ unanimously resolved to reject the “un-mandated” agreement dated August 7, 2022 and declared it null and void with immediate effect.
The ANSAM assembly also unanimously resolved its stand to “rigidly” oppose all exercise undertaken by the State Government in pursuance of the already rejected Sixth and Seventh (Manipur Hill Areas) District Councils Bill, 2022. “That, the non reference of Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Sixth Amendment Bill, 2022 to the Hill Areas Committee by deceitfully presenting it as a Money Bill, contradicts the provisions of the Constitution of India and hence such unconstitutional Amendment is not acceptable,” the ANSAM said today in a statement.
According to the statement, the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) and “sister organizations” have also repeatedly requested the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) to pursue the erstwhile unanimously recommended The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill 2021. “Instead, the legislators of the Hill Areas have embraced the handiwork of the executive thus thwarting the permissible legislative procedure,” it also said, while, adding, “It is very unfortunate that the people we elected with our precious votes have failed to safeguard our rights and arrogantly refused to acknowledge the same.”
Hence, according to the ANSAM statement, flaunting such an “unconstitutionally” passed Act against the interest of the tribals’ future in a seemingly acceptable approach should immediately stop. It also said that any further pursuance in regard to the controversial and rejected Sixth Amendment , be it delimitation and other related exercise would be consideranti-tribal and the respective MLAs involved in any manner in this illegitimate pursuit would be responsible for any untoward actions that follows from the public.
The ANSAM statement then said, “Our representatives should not unconstitutionally misuse the powers and mandates given to the HAC and promote such hollow exercise and attempt to befool the public.” It further said that the HAC was conceived to safeguard the interest of the tribals and should exist for the same purpose and intent as stated in Article 371 C of the constitution.
The ANSAM then appealed to the public not to be hoodwinked by such invitation to participate in an “unconstitutional exercise and recognize that it will be extremely detrimental to our tribal’s political future.” It added, “Let us stand together towards achieving our rightful constitutional provisions and abstain from shrinking our political rights for generations to come.”