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Tribal forum demands PR in Manipur...Denounces tribal legislators, lone MP
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

New Delhi, June 09 2016: Tribal organisations in Manipur while demanding imposition of President's Rule in Manipur have denounced all the tribal MLAs and the lone tribal MP (Lok Sabha) for their "silence on such a crucial issue in passing the three anti-tribal Bills on August 31, 2015" .

In a lengthy memorandum addressed to the President of India which was made available to Newmai News Network this evening, the Outer Manipur Tribals' Forum (OMTF) "on behalf of the tribal people of Manipur" said that the 20 odd tribal MLAs and the lone tribal MP from Outer Manipur, "in spite of the unrelenting" protests and agitations by the tribal people they represent, "have chosen to remain silent on such a crucial issue in passing the three anti-tribal Bills" on August 31, 2015 .

"We, therefore, denounce them as our representatives since they have failed to truly represent the tribal people of Manipur.

It is our humble request to you to kindly initiate the process of impeachment for the 20 odd tribal MLAs and the lone tribal MP from Manipur as we no longer accept them as our representatives," the memorandum said.

OMTF is an apex platform of Hmar Inpui, Mizo People Convention, Thadou Inpi, United Naga Council and Zomi Council.

In the strongly worded memorandum addressed to Pranab Mukherjee, the tribal organisations said, "With the situation in Manipur deteriorating by the day, the only viable solution now is for the Union Government to interfere directly into the issue by imposing President's Rule in the State and work towards a solution that is sustainable and acceptable to the tribal people of Manipur" .

The OMTF demanded that the President of India should immediately intervene into the "dubious and questionable actions of the Manipur Government in its handling of the issues" arising out of the passing of the three 'anti-tribal' Bills and resolutions by the Manipur Legislative Assembly on August 31, 2015, viz.

the Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill, 2015; the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015; and the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 .

The memorandum mentioned that Chief Minister of Manipur, Okram Ibobi Singh had admitted to the 18-member team of the Joint Action Committee Against Anti-Tribal Bills (JAC) on December 29, 2015 at his office chamber that the three Bills are the agenda of an umbrella group of Meitei militants.

"Hence, the State Government is not in a position to convene a Special Assembly Session to discuss the provisions of the Bills and the JAC's Charter of Demands", it added.

The memorandum of the tribal forum also mentioned that The Indian Express had published a picture on its newspaper dated June 2, 2016 of Khomdram Ratan the key leader of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS), the group spearheading the movement in favour of the "three anti-tribal Bills" taking an oath of allegiance with the flag of a banned Meitei insurgent group, United National Liberation Front (UNLF), with the oath being administered by its Organization Secretary, Nongyai.

The OMTF memorandum further mentioned that the Manipur Police Department subsequently announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh to any individual who may provide information leading to the arrest of Khomdram Ratan and a criminal case was registered at Singjamei police station, Imphal West against the JCILPS leader "for being a member of the banned outfit United National Liberation Front (UNLF), and for indulging in prejudicial activities against the State, promoting social unrest and enmity among the different groups of people living in Manipur." The memorandum added that the "All Political Party" delegation led by the Chief Minister were in New Delhi to pressurize the Union Government to give President's assent to the three 'anti-tribal' Bills.

This is inspite of the Chief Minister himself having admitted that the three Bills are CorCom's agenda and after his own Government put a 'wanted' tag on the key person spearheading the agitation for his links with the proscribed Meitei group.

"These actions of the Manipur Government, its machineries and various other non-State agencies clearly expose the deep-rooted nexus between the outlawed Meitei militant groups, the Manipur Government and the Meitei civil organizations like the JCILPS," it stated.

OTFM said, in addition to the three "anti-tribal Bills", there are three other demands by the "dominant Meitei community" in the pipeline which are perceived by the tribal people of Manipur as the 4th, 5th and 6th anti-tribal 'Bills' that have the potential to be more detrimental to the rights of the tribal people, viz., the Manipur Population Commission, the Manipur Land Reforms Commission and the demand for inclusion of Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe list.

"It may be noted here that the Manipur Government has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the JCILPS on August 25, 2015 that the Manipur Population Commission and the Manipur Land Reforms Commission shall be constituted within one year from that day," the memorandum added.

According to the OMTF, the above three demands are the exclusive designs of the "dominant Meitei community" to grab tribal lands and undermine tribal rights and are an integral part of the "communal" Manipur Govern- ment's long-term policy of subjugation, marginalization and exclusion of the tribal people.

It then said that with the tribals of Manipur agitating for more than nine months now refusing to bury the nine "tribal martyrs" who still await justice, and with no acceptable and sustainable solution in sight, and the "dominant Meitei community" pressing vehemently for the President's assent to the "three anti-tribal Bills as well as the above-mentioned pending demands, the hill-valley divide is becoming more pronounced by the day and is now way beyond repairs" .

Meanwhile, OTFM leaders demanded the President of India to question the Manipur Governor as the latter continues to remain "indifferent" to the prevailing situation in Manipur.

OTFM also wanted the President to note the "drive against the non-local people" in the Manipur valley.


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