TODAY -

STDCM set to intensify campaign for ST status
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 07 2019: The Sche-duled Tribe Demand Com- mittee Manipur (STDCM) has reiterated that its decision to ban the State's railway project still stands.

Speaking to media persons at Ima Khunthokhanbi Shanglen at Thangmeiband today, STDCM president Dhiraj Yumnam said that as per the resolution of the association and as announced earlier, STDCM closed down the office of North East Frontier Railway located at Moirangkhom yesterday.

Following the incident, altogether 19 individuals, including STDCM patrons, were arrested by police.

However, an arrangement was made and the arrested individuals held a meeting with CM N Biren Singh in the evening yesterday, he informed, adding that during the meeting STDCM made it clear that it will not back off from its stand.



STDCM set to intensify campaign for ST status
STDCM set to intensify campaign for ST status


Even if the arrested members were released after the meeting, the STDCM's ban on the railway project still remains, he announced, clarifying that there was no agreement with the Government during the meeting yesterday and the STDCM plans to intensify its agitation.

He narrated that a mass public rally was organised at Imphal on March 3 this year demanding inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST list of the Constitution.

After the rally, a public meeting was convened during which it was resolved to pressure the State Government to send a recommen- dation to the Centre for inclusion of the Meitei in the ST list, he added.

It was also resolved that if the demands were not met by March 6, an all Manipur general strike would be imposed and the railway projects would be completely banned.

However, the agitation were called off due to enforcement of the election model code of conduct, Dhiraj said.

On the other hand, convenor of the coordinating body of STDCM, L Romesh said that during the meeting yesterday, STDCM asked the CM why all the legitimate demands of the committee have not been granted event after a long struggle of seven years.

Replying to a query as to why the State Government failed to send a recommendation to the Centre, the CM replied that there were appeals from some among the Meiteis not to do so, Dhiraj said, alleging that even though the CM himself had announced in the past that the STDCM's demand is justified and legitimate, his failure to transform his word into action due to some hurdles, shows complete lack of political will.

Romesh further alleged that the CM's action shows him as one who is more concerned about his post or position.

There was no agreement with the State Government and the ban on railway project will go on.

Any unwanted incident which happens in the future due to this issue will have to be the sole responsibility of the Government, he warned adding that STDCM will launch various forms of agitation like sit-in protests, street corner meetings, meira rally and public meeting etc.

He then expressed disappointment at the alleged harsh treatment meted out to the arrested members of STDCM by the police team led by the OC of Imphal PS yesterday.

Romesh explained that the members included people over the age of 80 as well as senior experts and they were treated without any manners, which is very unfortunate.

He clarified that the officer and staff of NF Railway office were properly informed about the ban, called out of the office before the members closed down the office.

The members did not resort to any high handedness during the protest, he added, explaining the STDCM is not protesting on its own self interest.

He further urged police and the authorities to act in a disciplined manner and to treat arrested people according to the law.


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