All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) on Wednesday set a four-day deadline for the state government of Manipur to announce the election schedules for the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs). If necessary steps such as issue of notification for the elections are not taken up within the set deadline “we will be compelled to launch intense forms of agitations from the next day”, the apex body of tribal student’s organisation threatened.
The student’s body is demanding notification for the conduct of the elections to the six ADCs in hill districts of the state on or before October 25.
Addressing a press conference at ATSUM office at Chingmeirong in Imphal, its president Seiboi Haokip said that if notification for conduct of the elections is not issued before the lapse of the deadline, a 48-hour “bandh of inter-state movement” will be imposed from the next day, apart from banning implementation of national projects in the hill districts.
“This will be the first form of agitation. If the government fails to pay any heed to our demands after this, we will be compelled to impose an indefinite bandh in the state,” Haokip said. “The student’s body with the support of hill people and like-minded civil society organisations may even impose an indefinite inter-state bandh”, he further warned.
The ATSUM president then said that it is high time to issue the notification for holding elections to the ADCs if the elections are to be held during October/November.
Mention may be made that the terms of the current ADCs had expired in May this year. However, the state government extended the terms for six months citing inconveniences in holding the elections during the rainy season among others. The extended term is due to expire soon.