TODAY -

Protest against 3 contentious Bills continues
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 14 2015 : With the aim to sensitize the Indian public about the human tragedy revolving around the nine 'tribal martyrs' who remained unburied till today, and to pressurize the Government to address the political crisis in Manipur, and to show solidarity and support to the families of the nine killed, the Manipur Tribals Forum, Delhi (MTFD), has been organizing an indefinite mass rally at Jantar Mantar starting from Nov 4 with nine symbolic coffins.

The sit-in protest starting from 4pm everyday and going on till 8pm, is hosted by each of the various tribal student unions in Delhi on their respective allotted days, said a statement issued by the MTFD.

The protest will continue until necessary remedial measures are taken to address the issues and grievances of the tribals in Manipur.

Today, the protest marked its 10th day in the Capital with no sign of hope or even concern from fellow citizens, the media or the Government.

During the two months' time, the Manipur Tribals' Forum, Delhi (MTFD), along with tribal organizations in Manipur met all concerned Central Ministers including the Home Minister, the MoS (Home), Minister for Tribal Affairs, DoNER to apprise them of the situation and have submitted memoranda demanding remedial measures for the tribals.

MTFD has also met all the bureaucrats concerned to apprise them of the inflamed situation in Manipur tribal areas, it said.

MTFD has especially been seeking the Centre's intervention because the Centre is constitutionally vested with a special power with regard to Manipur Hill Areas.

Article 371C of the Indian Constitution states, inter-alia, that "the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of directions to the State as to the administration of the Hill (tribal) Areas of Manipur," it said.

Despite numerous memoranda and meetings, no positive and serious initiative has been taken on the part of the Central Government to resolve the issues.

The Manipur Government's inherent biases against the tribal people have been long known and well chronicled, it added.

For the past 74 days, the nine bodies are kept in the District Hospital in a room designated as makeshift morgue without any proper facility, with the hope that satisfactory solution to bring justice to those who were killed will be coming forth.

This issue of keeping a body unburied is something that never happens in a tribal society, where it is customary practice to bury the dead as per rituals and with respect on the very same day itself.

Till the dead are buried, the entire community is bound by customs to suspend their daily activities and keep vigil and mourn with the families of the dead.

The fact that the nine martyrs are kept unburied in a makeshift mortuary till today testifies to the deep hurt and sense of injustice felt by the tribal people towards the Manipur Government, the MTFD added.

Meanwhile, Nagaland LS MP, Neiphiu Rio, president TNL Weapon Zimik; CPI(M) Central Committee Member, Vijoo Khrishnan and others attended the protest yesterday.


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