TODAY -

Rio on Bills
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Imphal, December 12 2015 : Drawing the attention of the Parliament to the present po-litical scenario of Manipur where protesters are deman-ding withdrawal of the three Bills passed by Manipur Assembly, Lok Sabha MP and former Chief Minister of Naga-land Neiphiu Rio on Friday sought intervention of the Centre and to set up a high level committee to resolve the issue.

"The issue needs the intervention of the House so as to look into the matter in an ardent manner and to take immediate suitable action, in whatever manner," Rio said adding, the Naga Peace Accord which was signed on August 3 should not be in jeopardy.

"This is not only a problem of the Nagas, but this is also a national problem" .

Speaking during 'Zero Hour' of the Parliament session on December 9, Rio raised the issue regarding the tribal and hill people of Manipur State on the passing of three bills in the Manipur Assembly.

"On 31st August 2015, the Manipur Legislative Assembly convened a one day Special Session to pass three Bills, namely, Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015; Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reform Bill, 2015; and Manipur Shops and Establishments Bill, 2015" .

He said, "These Bills were hurriedly enacted by the Manipur Assembly on 31st August, 2015, and on the same day it was passed without proper consultations with tribal leaders, elected members of the Autonomous District Council and even opportunity was not given to the elected Members for discussion in the House.

This is in clear violation of the Constitutional requirements of prior consultations with tribal representatives elected from the hill areas of the State as per Article 371 C.Their voices were suppressed and the 3 Bills were bulldozed and passed" .

"It is sad to note that all the North-Eastern States have been affected, but all the morals that are guaranteed under the Sixth Schedule like land rights, community rights and identity rights were denied in Manipur." The MP asserted that the sanctity of the Constitution and the Sixth Schedule be upheld to protect the tribal and the backward.

It is pertinent to note that 90 per cent of land in Manipur is occupied by the hills/tribal people and they comprise 47.99 per cent of the population, he added.

"As regards the proportional representation in the 60 Member House, only 20 Members are from the hills and tribals, and 40 Members are concentrated from the valley.

Hence, justice was not done as no proportional representation was there.

Five seats were recommended in the delimitation that was done in 2001 to shift 5 seats to the hills, but it was turned down by the valley people" .

As a result of the passage of these three Bills, Rio said, there were spontaneous protests against the three Bills, which led to a volatile situation and the Manipur Armed Police fired on the protestors killing 9 persons besides injuring about 50 people.

Till today, the dead bodies of these 9 people have not been buried.

They have not got a decent burial.

The tribal leaders say that unless these Bills are withdrawn, they will not bury the dead bodies.

Stressing the need for intervention of the Government, Rio also mentioned about the ongoing protest rally in Delhi and those who have been protesting against the incident at Jantar Mantar which has completed 100 days of protest, while the dead bodies are lying unburied.


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