ATSUM appeals to cooperate; agitations to continue in Manipur Hills

Paotinthang Lupheng, President, ATSUM called the clarification issued by the 6 ADC Caretaker Chairmen as unfortunate when the tribal student bodies have been fighting for rights of the tribal.

Senapati: Joint tribal student bodies of Manipur had called for cooperation from all in fight for rights of the tribal adding agitations to continue until their demands are met.

SR. Andria, General Secretary, All Tribal Students Union, Manipur (ATSUM) in a press conference expressed gratitude to all who stood by the rights of the tribal by extending their co-operations by all likeminded citizens of the state.

Mention may be made that under the spearheading of the ATSUM together with the All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM), Kuki Students Organization, General Headquarters (KSO-GHQ) and federating units of ATSUM, indefinite economic blockade has been enforced since midnight of November 21 demanding to table the HAC recommended Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill, 2021.

The recommended bill of the ADC Bill, 2021 of the HAC is stated to primarily aim to bring equitable development in the state. It is stated to strengthen and empower the existing ADC in the hills with no section to disintegrate geographically, integrity of the state in any manner. In this regard, the ATSUM and other tribal student bodies appeal the CSOs of the valley stating that the movement is rather to integrate the whole state as the bill would ensure equitable development between the hills and valley and urge all to extend their support.

The Autonomous District Council Act, 1971 is stated to be purely a parliament Act claiming the state legislators cannot be repealed is false which misguide the public and called unfortunate, General Secretary mentioned. The state Govt had amended the Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Act, 1971 from time to time under Manipur (Adaptation of laws) Order, 1972 after the state attained its statehood in 1972. Not only that, the state Govt had also repealed the act in 2000 and repealed in 2008 where the student leader called as unfortunate what the state Govt stated cannot be repealed the parliament act. The student leader appeals to all populace of the state to acknowledge the reality asking the state Govt not to mislead the populace but to turn the reality to an act.

Also read: Economic blockade on National Highways in Manipur begins by Tribal student bodies

The movement is stated to be within the ambit of the Indian constitution and nothing beyond it. While seeking support from all, the student leader urged the state Govt to convene a special assembly session to table the bill at the earliest for equitable development with development in the hills and valley for the whole state. On the point of some certain individuals who are instigated by few vested interests, the student leader called such step as to mislead and divide the people of the state on the movement, he lamented. Few individuals have recently identified some tribal legislators and targeted in the past where the student leader expressed discontentment urging the state Govt to identify the concerned culprits and initiate appropriate legal action against them. The tribal student bodies strongly condemned such uncivilised act who had shut down a business establishment belonging to a tribal legislator for supporting the bill, asking all not to turn to communal.

Paotinthang Lupheng, President, ATSUM called the clarification issued by the 6 ADC Caretaker Chairmen as unfortunate when the tribal student bodies have been fighting for rights of the tribal. In such movement, the student leader lamented that they ought to give their full support including financial support. However, such clarification made to the chief minister shows an agent to the Govt, he added expressing his displeasure and not to give the chair to such puppets in future. The President further announced that the agitation and blockade would continue.

AC. Thotso, General Secretary, ANSAM in his statement stated that the movement concerns about ensuring social and economic development of the state tribal under the permissible ambit of the constitution of India. Where the bill mainly concerns for the tribal and for the state in general, the ANSAM General Secretary grieved over different unfounded allegations and misleading statements found in several media where some vested interests had maligned the hill legislators with communal tones and derogatory remarks in the past. The student leader appeals the general populace of the state to kindly extend their cooperation for securing the rights of the tribal in the state. Thotso also urged upon the state Govt to do the needful, not with use of military along the highway to suppress the movement.

The student leader stated that they are not doing anything that is threatening the state security but only demanding and calling the attention of the state Govt with several rounds of democratic agitations with no option left. The tribal student bodies under the aegis of ATSUM supported by ANSAM, KSO-GHQ and federating units of ATSUM have been enforcing on economic blockade asking the state Govt to table the ADC Bill, 2021 recommended by HAC at the earliest to restore peace in the state as well as to give a chance to let the tribal populace of the state to flourish under the constitution of India.

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