TODAY -

ANSAM airs opposition to MP Bill
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Senapati, July 29 2018: The All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) has urged Governor Dr Najma Heptulla not to give her assent to The Manipur People Bill No-10, 2018 saying there are several grounds to object the said Bill.

The ANSAM also urged the Governor to return the Bill to the Assembly for consideration with respect to Section 10 and 11, clause (i) of Section 2, clause (3) of section 4 or reserved for consideration of the President of India in order to protect the social customs, landed property and forest of the tribals of Manipur so as to fulfil the spirit and intention of the framer of the Constitution and to attract Para 9 of Manipur Legislative Assembly (HAC), Order 1972 .

According to the ANSAM, the tribals of Manipur are claiming that their land, forest and economy are protected under the provision of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 and that a law prohibiting transfer of land belonging to Scheduled Tribe (ST) to a non-tribal is valid in favour of STs in the State of Manipur as reported in the AIR 1985 SC 389.The Naga student body also said that the inherent rights of the tribals over their land and forest is protected by "our social custom" and has been guaranteed under Article 371C of the Constitution of India.

It however said that, without following the due process of law, the protection of land and forest has been taken away by Section 10 and 11 of the said Bill.

The ANSAM, in reference to Section 2 (i) of the Bill, said that there must be specific cut-off year with respect to decide the matter of citizenship.

It however said that, in the case at hand whether 1950 or 1951 or 1956 or 2011 and or amendment from time to time is too vague and ambiguous which cannot be acted upon.

Further, according to the ANSAM, Section 2 (i) has failed to define the meaning of "Manipur people and the native people of Manipur" on historical basis.

According to the ANSAM, the definition of native people has been done casually without intensive deliberation on historical basis and this has confused the public.

The ANSAM also said that, the power and functions of the Autonomous District Council (ADC) is embodied under Section 29 of the District Council (Hill Areas) Act, 1971 and the 3rd Amendment Act, 2008 .

"And the power and functions of the Village Authorities are also guaranteed under the Manipur (Village Authorities) Act, 1956.As such, without amending the said ADC Act as well as the Village Authority Act, the Village Authorities and the District Councils cannot discharge their duties delegated under this Bill in question.

Therefore, the Bill is too contradictory in nature," the ANSAM added.

The student body stated that it is a direct challenge to the prevailing social customs of the hill people "because due to the impugned Bill the age old customs of protecting land and forest in the hill areas is no more seen.

In fact Section 10 ad 11 have arbitrarily taken away the inherent rights of the tribals".

The Naga student body also stated that, in the "past histories any Central agencies/ co-operations/ authorities/ multinational companies have no right to interfere in the inherent rights and interests or title in land within the territory of Manipur".

However, surprisingly, the protection of any interests, rights, of title in land is defeated, the ANSAM alleged.

"In fact, the land owners have absolute right over the land and forest in the hill areas or the communities have common land which cannot be arbitrarily interfered by the Village Authority or District Council without the consent of the land owner under the prevailing customs," the Naga student body also said.

"Surprisingly the Bill was referred to the HAC within a limited time period of one (1) day", the ANSAM expressed.

"In fact, in such cases ordinarily three (3) months period should be granted.

However, the Bill introduced and passed in a haphazard way in Manipur Legislative Assembly without due process of Article 371C of the Constitution.

At this juncture Her Excellency may attract the Special Provision guaranteed under Para 9 of Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas) Order 1972, in order to secure the proper functioning of HAC," the ANSAM further said.

According to the Naga student body, it is mandatory to make a report to the President of India as guaranteed under clause (ii) of Article 371C regarding the administration of hill areas in the State of Manipur so as to extend the benefit of giving direction by exercising executive power of the Union Which is urgently called for.

"The land and forest in the hill areas are protected by virtue of Article 26 (i), (ii) and (iii) of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People adopted by General Assembly Resolution 61/295 on 13th Sept 2007 to which India is also a signatory," the ANSAM also said.


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