District reorganization public hearing
CSOs express opposing views
Source: Hueiyen News Service / NNN
Imphal, September 15 2011:
Representatives of various Civil Society Organisations gave their views, often diametrically opposed to one another before the Committee on Reorganization of Administrative and Police Boundaries (CRAPB) of the state government at its 'First Hearing' held today.
The hearing of the committee led by state Chief Secretary DS Ponia, accompanied by DGP, Y Joykumar met selective civil society organizations (CSOs) at the secretariat campus which included members of Zeliangrong Baudi, All Zeliangrong Students' Union (Assam, Nagaland and Manipur), Zeliangrong Youth Front, Land Protection Demand Committee of Sekmai AC and Tamenglong Kuki Chiefs' Association.
Tongjei Marin District Demand Committee who was also listed to meet the committee failed to turn up.
General Secretary W Jotin of Land Protection Demand Committee of Sekmai after attending the hearing told reporters that the state sponsored committee has been apprised of LPDC's desire to secede from the proposed Sadar Hills district.
"We asked to be included in Imphal West district," he said.
He said that half of the ten villages that has been demanding protection have been included in the map of the proposed Sadar Hills district where Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reform Act (MLR &LR) has been implemented.
"If the state government doesn't solve the lingering problem at the earliest, the situation in the area may turn communal with tension already mounting," said Jotin.
"Kuki undergrounds are openly supporting the Sadar Hills district demand.
They have even begun patrolling the area wielding arms," he added.
Paomei Tingenlung, president of Zeliangrong Students' Union (ANM) told the media that the committee has been informed of the long standing opposition to bifurcate Tamenglong district for creation of the proposed Sadar Hills district.
Zeliangrong Baudi chairman Thomas Kamei held out similar sentiment after attending the hearing while members of Tamenglong Kuki Chiefs Association promptly left, apparently miffed, without commenting on what was transpired at the hearing.
Members of Zeliangrong Union (ANM) were not entertained by the government committee today.
"There is something very fishy about the way the government is conducting the affairs of the reorganizing committee," said president of ZU Amu Kamei.
"There is a hidden agenda behind the government's policy which is why the committee is meeting civil organizations separately" .
Chairman and member of Tomching Chingsang and Shambing Chingsang Area Committee of Saikul block also had to return home without meeting the reorganization committee.
"We are here to ask the government to include our area, which is presently in Saikul block of Sadar Hills administrative area, to Phungyar subdivision of Ukhrul district for administrative convenience," said Chairman KT Ngaranmi.
The area has 45 villages with a population of 6000 people.
Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) submitted a representation to the committee "opposing" the process of reorganization.
"The initiation of the committee itself is not clear.
If the committee goes ahead, it will have severe ramification and misunderstanding amongst various ethnic groups of Manipur," a representative of KIM said.
"The issue of reorganization of districts in Manipur surfaces due to districthood demand of Sadar Hills.
Sadar Hills issue should be emphatically understood.
When all the civil organizations of the world proclaimed that it is genuine, why is the Manipur government avoiding it," he added.
Several prominent personalities of the state were also turned back by the reorganization committee.
Meanwhile, a press release of the Under Secretary (Revenue) today stated that the next round of the public hearing will be held on September 17 from 10 am onwards at the state secretariat.
Opinions of those who could not attend today's hearing will be heard on the day.