TODAY -

12 hrs tribal areas bandh called
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Imphal, October 02 2016: The Outer Manipur Tribal Forum (OMTF) and Joint Action Committee against Anti Tribal Bills (JAC-AATB) have decided to call a 12 -hour "tribal areas "bandh on October 7 from 6 am to show its resentment and displeasure towards the Government of Manipur for its "indifferent attitude towards" the tribal community of Manipur.

This decision was taken on September 3 0 during a jointmeeting.

The OMTF and JC-AATB said the joint meeting was held to discuss the "prevailing situation" in Manipur especially on the "demand by valley people and proposed Non-Local People of Manipur Bill" .

Chairman of OMTF Gaidon Kamei who is also the president of the United Naga Council (UNC) highlighted the agendas and opened the session for discussion.

The joint meeting stated that after minute and deliberate discussion on the new draft Bill of the Government of Manipur i.e.Non-Local People of Manipur, and Scheduled Tribe status demand by the Co-ordinating Body of Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur, the joint meeting resolved to call a 12-hour general strike in "all the tribal areas" of Manipur on October 7 from 6 am to show its resentment and displeasure towards the Government of Manipur for its indifferent attitude towards the tribal community of Manipur.

Another resolution of the joint meeting is to organise a joint tour programme in all "tribal areas" of Manipur to mobilise and spread awareness with regard to Constitutional rights and duties of the tribals, atrocities and prejudice faced by the tribal community of Manipur.

The OMTF and JAC-AATB will have their awareness programmes at Motbung and Kangpokpi in Sadar Hills on October 8, Senapati on October 10, Ukhrul on October 12, Chandel on October 15 and Tamenglong on October 21 .

It can be noted here that on September 27, the Outer Manipur Tribals' Forum (OMTF) and Joint Action Committee against Anti Tribal Bills (JAC-AATB) had reiterated their stand to boycott all tribal MLAs and the lone MP from Manipur who allegedly failed to hear the cries of their people, besides banning Congress party in all tribal areas in Manipur.

OMTF, a conglomerate of Hmar Inpui, Thadou Inpi Manipur, Mizo People Convention, United Naga Council and Zomi Council and the Joint Action Committee against Anti-Tribal Bills (JAC-AATB), said that the boycott decision was taken during a joint meeting held at Haokip Veng, Imphal on July 18, the joint statement said.

As a part to the ongoing fight for tribal rights and identity, the OMTF and JAC against Anti-Tribal Bills (JAC-AATB) had submitted a joint memorandum to the Prime Minister today to oppose the demand for the Scheduled Tribe status by the "valley-dwelling Meitei community and shall continue to resist such sinister design in the days to come", according to the joint statement.

The OMTF and JAC-AATB had reiterated the boycott of all the tribal MLAs and the lone MP who failed to hear the cries of their people stating "these betrayers of the tribal peoples are banned -from having any activity or movement in the tribal areas of Manipur, and that neither the forum nor the JAC shall be responsible for any untoward incident if they fail to comply with the ban" .

The July 18 joint meeting also resolved that any individual or organization aiding, cooperating or standing with these individuals will be branded as anti-tribals and shall be at their own risk, the joint press release said.

Stating that the Congress party was solely responsible for drafting, introducing and passing of the three "anti-tribal Bills" in the State Assembly on August 31 last year, the joint meeting also resolved to boycott the National political party in all tribal areas of Manipur from July 18 .

Any political party, whether National or regional, which work against the interest of the tribal peoples shall face the same fate as that of the Congress Party, another resolution of the meeting said.

According to the joint statement, individuals, organisations and political parties betraying the indigenous peoples shall have no place in the tribal areas in "present Manipur" .

"The struggle for self-determination of the indigenous peoples in present Manipur that began with the spontaneous reaction that erupted after the passing of the three 'anti-tribal Bills' by the Congress-led Manipur Government has already crossed one year, it said.

Yet, even after a year of unflinching agitation, both the Central and State Governments have refused to take any genuine step to address the grievances of the tribal community", the joint statement added.

"The dominant valley-dwelling community of present Manipur in connivance with the communal Manipur Government has been gearing up for inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list as a continuation of their policies to annex tribal lands and grab the meagre privileges bestowed on the tribal peoples", the joint statement alleged.

"As a part to the ongoing fight for tribal rights and identity, the OMTF and JAC had submitted a joint memorandum to the Prime Minister to oppose the demand for the Scheduled Tribe status by the valley-dwelling Meitei community and shall continue to resist such 'sinister design' in the days to come", the joint press release said.

The forum and JAC said they "are committed to safeguarding tribal ancestral lands, tribal rights and identity and shall leave no stone unturned in their ongoing effort to ensure an inclusive and promising future for all the tribal communities and an administrative setup separate from the ambit of the present Manipur Government.


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