Leishemba seeks Patil's notice
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, October 29 2011:
Taking serious note of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Manipur on account of the prolonged blockade and counter-blockade on highways leading to Imphal for and against the Sadar Hills district demand, titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba has written to the President of India seeking immediate intervention to enforce the rule of law in the State or otherwise, to make necessary clarification as to whether the Union of India has abandoned the people of Manipur to their own fate.
In a memorandum submitted to the President of India Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, copies of which were also submitted to the Prime Minister as well as the Governor of Manipur, the Maharaja pointed out that the Dominion of India took over the governance of Manipur after signing of the Manipur Merger Agreement, 1949 under Article I of the same agreement.
The repeated untold and inhuman suffering subjected to the people of Manipur on various occasions due to neglect and indifference of the concerned authorities to enforce the rule of law in the State has now seriously threatened to break up the unity and integrity of Manipur and its people, and has caused immense anguish and anxiety to the king, said the memorandum, Highlighting the suffering of the people of Sadar Hills in general and the people of Manipur in particular, the king has appealed to the President of India to use her constitutional authority conferred under Article 371 C of the Constitution of India so that justice is dispensed to the people of Manipur without any delay.
After the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act 1971 was enacted by the Indian Parliament, the Governor of Manipur issued an order on February 14, 1972 under which six autonomous districts, namely Manipur North Autonomous District (Senapati), Sadar Hills Autonomous District, Manipur East Autonomous District (Ukhrul), Tengnoupal Autonomous District (Chandel), Manipur South Autonomous District (Churachandpur) and Manipur West Autonomous District (Tamenglong) were constituted.
Subsequently, under provisions of the Section 4 of the said Act of 1971, six autonomous district councils for the six autonomous districts were constituted and the first elections were held in 1974 including Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council.
Though it is a constitutional duty of the Governor of Manipur under Article 371 C of the Constitution of India to submit annual or whenever required, to submit reports regarding administration in the hill areas of Manipur, successive Governors of the State totally neglected the District Councils so much so that all the six Autonomous District Councils were superseded for a continuous period of more than 20 years until the ADC elections held last year.
The successive Governors including the incumbent have been deliberately and intentionally hampering the functioning of Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council so much so that people of Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council have come to believe that there is no Sadar Hills Autonomous District.
Driven by this wrong belief, people of Sadar Hills have come out on the streets demanding creation of Sadar Hills Autonomous District.
Asserting that the present crisis arising out of the Sadar Hills district demand and subsequent highway blockades are results of the Governor's inaction and illegal interference by the State Government in the affairs of Autonomous Districts, the memorandum pointed out that the duty and power to appoint an officer as the Deputy Commissioner of Sadar Hills district vest with the Governor.
However, the Governor of Manipur has not, so far, appointed anyone to be the Deputy Commissioner of Sadar Hills Autonomous District under Section 2 (e) of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act 1971 .
The Maharaja appealed to the President to issue necessary direction to the Union Executive to give necessary direction to the State Government under Article 371 C (2) of the Constitution of India to stop illegal interference in the administration of the Sadar Hills Autonomous District and to take up necessary measures to see that the administration of the Sadar Hills Autonomous District of Manipur properly and diligently carried out.
The king also appealed to the Governor of Manipur to take up immediate action under various provision of the said Act of 1971 to enable the Sadar Hill Autonomous District Council and all other Autonomous District Councils function to their full potential.