TODAY -

ATSUM's bandh comes into force
Source: The Sangai Express

Senapati, August 03 2022: In response to the call from ATSUM against the alleged illegal detention of student leaders, the Senapati District Students Association (SDSA) imposed a total shutdown beginning from early morning on Wednesday.

Volunteers supporting the bandh shooed away vehicles from the highway without proper reasons during the day.

According to a source, the tribals in Manipur under the banner of ATSUM have been striving towards an inclusive governance for better transparency and to bring equal development.

Under Article 371 C of the Constitution of India, tribals of Manipur have the full authority and autonomy under Autonomous District Council.

However, the Govt of Manipur has been manipulating and trying to fool the public with the so called "District Council Bill" by eliminating the most important word "Autonomous" .

Introduction of name sake Bills, which are a sham can never be accepted, said the source.

ATSUM in a statement stated that the Bill recommended by the Hill Areas Committee (HAC Bill, 2021) was never discussed before it was introduced in the State Assembly.

The said Bill can never be accepted by the tribal people until and unless the Autonomous District Councils Bill, 2021 recommended by HAC is introduced and passed in the Assembly, it added.

The State Govt's refusal to table the HAC recommended ADC Bill, 2021 in the Assembly has constrained the tribal people to go in for intense agitation in the hill districts of Manipur, they said.

It was to resolve the issue that an MoU were signed between the State Govt and ATSUM to the effect that the HAC recommended ADC Bill, 2021 would be tabled and discussed in the winter session of the Assembly, 2021.However, the State Government failed to abide by the pact, alleged ATSUM and added this deceptive act can never be accepted.

Kakai Singsit, secretary of finance, ATSUM while briefing the media at Senapati stated that the agitation is an unequivocal stand of the 3 student bodies of the hill districts including the ATSUM, ANSAM and KSO, GHQ.

The bandh will continue and will be intensified if the Govt does not table the HAC recommended ADC Bill in the State Assembly, he said and strongly condemned the arrest of its senior leaders including some executives of ATSUM.

KANGPOKPI: The emergency shutdown imposed by various tribal bodies in Kangpokpi district and spearheaded by the Kuki Students' Organization Sadar Hills crippled normal life and traffic movement as the shutdown which began yesterday afternoon continued till today.

The emergency shutdown in the Kangpokpi district began yesterday afternoon at around 7 pm over the arrest of ATSUM leaders and the failure to release them by the Government before 6 pm as demanded by its federating units.

Volunteers were seen blocking National Highway 2 at downtown Kangpokpi IT Road and Gamgiphai while a similar blockade was also reported along National Highway 37.The otherwise busy National Highway at Kangpokpi district headquarters wore a deserted look as the traffic movement, except for the exempted services, came to a standstill while normal life has been badly affected owing to the complete closure of business establishments.

Educational institutions both Government and private were also closed while minimal attendance was witnessed in all the Government institutions.

As the emergency shutdown continues, many vehicles including loaded trucks and passenger vehicles were seen stranded along the National Highway at T Khullen village.

There are at least 3/4 patients in each passenger bus stranded along National Highway 2 which returned to the state after medical check-ups at Guwahati.

Some patients including kidney and cancer patients are seen in very serious conditions.

On learning the situation where such patients are among the stranded passengers and with the request and initiative of the SP Kangpokpi, the KSO Sadar Hills released all those passenger buses carrying patients on humanitarian ground at around 1.30 pm.

An ambulance from the District Hospital Kangpokpi also picked up stranded patients from T Khullen and dropped them at Imphal.

However, other vehicles including loaded trucks were still stranded and no untoward incident has been reported till the time of filing this report.

Volunteers at Kangpokpi town were seen checking the documents of people traveling on medical grounds, airport, examinations, etc, and only those found genuine were given passage while others were sent back.

Speaking to the media, KSO Sadar Hills general secretary, Thangtinlen Haokip said that the tribal bodies including KSO, TSA, Zillai, KomRem Students Union, TYA, etc.

in Kangpokpi district are extremely disappointed over the arrest of ATSUM leaders yesterday and to "show our resentment an emergency shutdown has been strictly enforced in the district since yesterday afternoon.

"However, on learning about patients among the stranded vehicles we decided to release them in a very civilized manner showing the highest humanity despite the Government's insensitivity," he added.

The student leader said that the Government should understand the sentiment of the tribal people and release the arrested ATSUM leaders unconditionally at the earliest.

He further said that more intense forms of agitation will be initiated if the arrested ATSUM leaders are not released soon.

It may be recalled that though the emergency shutdown began yesterday, the actual shutdown as announced by the ATSUM is scheduled to begin at 6 pm on August 3 and go on till 6 pm of August 4 while it will be followed by various intense agitations from August 5.The emergency shutdown was imposed by ATSUM federating units in all hill districts yesterday afternoon following the arrest of ATSUM leaders.

UKHRUL: Flatly rejecting the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Bills (6th and 7th Amendment) which were tabled in the Assembly on August 2 by the TA and Hills Minister, the All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) laid down the reasons for imposing the emergency shutdown ahead of it proposed 24 hours bandh which was to come into force from 6 pm of August 3 .

Speaking to the media during a press conference today at the TKS office at Hamleikhong in Ukhrul, vice president of ATSUM, Vanlallian Khaute that the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils, 6th and 7th Amendment Bill, which were tabled in the Assembly yesterday stand rejected.

The student leader further said that the State Government has betrayed the tribal community in failing to honour the agreement inked between the student body and the Government in December 2021 .

The stand of ATSUM is that the ADC Bill prepared by the HAC be tabled, discussed and passed, he reiterated and added that the failure to table the same even today is depriving the tribal people of their rights.

Instead of honouring their commitment to table the Bill, the State Government has gone ahead and arrested ATSUM leaders, he said and added that any design to subdue the rights of the tribal people will not be tolerated.

Secretary of ANSAM, AC Thotso, who was also present at the press meet questioned why the tribal MLAs have maintained a smug silence on the matter even now.

It is the collective wish of the tribal people to see the ADC Bill tabled in the Assembly, he said.

Demanding the arrested ATSUM leaders should be released immediately without any condition, Thotso and added that if the State Government fails to respect the rights of the tribal people, then more intense form of agitation would be launched.

The ATSUM bandh crippled normal life in Ukhrul and shops and other establishments remained close.

On the other hand, the Zillai (Vaiphei Students' Association), Tengnoupal district and Kuki Students' Organisation, Moreh Block (KSO-MB) have endorsed the All Tribal Students' Union Manipur's (ATSUM) 24-hour total shutdown of all hill districts in the State from 6 pm August 3 to 6 pm August 4 .

A statement issued by the Zillai has appealed to the State Government for the unconditional release of all detained ATSUM leaders in the interest of the tribal community.

In a statement, KSO-MB also appealed to the State Government to find a democratic and peaceful solution to the ongoing issues by holding dialogue with the concerned stakeholders.

KSO-MB further urged the public of Moreh to avoid unnecessary travel during the stipulated 24-hour shutdown.


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