Ukhrul: The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) has lambasted the Hill Areas Committee’s silence on its recommended Manipur (Hill Area) ADC Bill 2021 in the ongoing 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly session.
ATSUM outrightly rejected and condemned the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (Sixth Amendment) Bill 2022 and Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (Seventh Amendment) Bill 2022” which was passed in the ongoing 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly session and has demanded to release its five executives unconditionally.
Vanlallian Khaute, vice president ATSUM stated this on Wednesday afternoon while briefing media persons at Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) office in the presence of KSO-General Headquarters and ANSAM executives.
They questioned the stand of the HAC members and the elected people’s representatives of the Manipur’s hill districts for not voicing anything on the issue of HAC recommended Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill 2021 in the ongoing Manipur Legislative Assembly session.
In his speech, Vanlallian Khaute, vice president ATSUM reiterated its long standing demand for tabling and passing of HAC recommended Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill 2021 in the Manipur Legislative Assembly. “This Bill has to be tabled and passed in the ongoing Assembly session,” he demanded.
While condemning the step motherly treatment of the state government to the tribal populace, he affirmed that it will intensify the agitations until its demands are fulfilled by the Manipur government.
He also thanked the federating units for the support and cooperation they have extended.
Coming down strongly on the HAC member, AC Thotso, general secretary ANSAM said that elected hill legislatures have failed us when they are the right person to raise the bill which the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) has duly recommended the bill in 2021.
HAC has been vested with the powers to frame act and bill in matters pertaining to constitution and functioning of the Autonomous District Councils. But today, the government has introduced an imposed bill framed at the whims of the dominant community at the cost of the tribals, he pointed out referring to the two bills namely “Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (Sixth Amendment) Bill, 2022 and Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2022.”
“Our elected legislatures (HAC member) should rather have reiterated the HAC recommended ADC bill 2021 to be tabled and passed as it was framed and unanimously recommended by the HAC members. But sadly they failed to stand the ground embracing their political master,” he thundered, while appealing the hill populace to stand united in the movement.
The sad reality facing us today is that we tribals have been oppressed and suppressed and further subjugated by using our elected representatives/ legislatures as the agent of the dominant government. Tribal unity is the only viable alternative to salvage our future, Thotso reminded.
In the meanwhile, Stoney Seiboi, general secretary KSO-GHQ has questioned the elected legislatures as to why the bill which have been duly signed and recommended by the HAC was not introduced and passed in the ongoing assembly session.
The elected legislatures must introduce and table the said bill as they should. Because they the are the duly elected legislatures mandated to do that. However if they fail to do the same under their initiative, action would take initiated against them, he warned while reiterating that elected legislatures are the right owner to carried out the task of tabling and passing the HAC recommended Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill.
It may be mentioned that five ATSUM leaders including its president, general secretary, information & publicity, forest & environment and tribunal were arrested on Tuesday amid the 24-hour shutdown call in all the hill districts of Manipur demanding to table and pass the HAC recommended Manipur (Hill Area) ADC Bill 2021 in the ongoing 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly session.