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Three Bills aim at expelling indigenous tribes not protecting them: BD Behring
Source: Hueiyen News Service / K Kopham Kanshouwa

Imphal, November 14 2015 : The three Bill passed by the Government of Manipur on August 31 last are aimed at expelling the State's indigenous tribes and are not meant for protecting them, said former MP and MLA BD Behring.

He was speaking at a one-day seminar on Manipur tribal inherent rights and current Issues at Indoor Stadium, Chandel District Headquarters on Saturday.

The seminar was jointly organised by All Manipur Tribal Union (AMTU), All Tribal Chiefs and Public Grievances Forum (ATCPGF), Chandel and Tribal Research Institute (TRI), Government of Manipur.

BD Behring who attended the seminar as a resource person spoke on the repercussion of the three Bills passed by the Manipur Government.

In his presentation, he alleged that the three Bills are not for the protection of indigenous people but to expel them from the State as many indigenous tribes of the State could have been excluded from the 1951 census report.

He pointed out that many tribal villages and people were not included in the 1951 census.

Referring to news reports that the State Home Department and the Directorate of Census Operations, Manipur have no idea under whose authority the National Register of Citizens (NRC), 1951 was prepared, BD Behring asked if the record is not available then how was the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015 prepared and passed.

Moreover, as per census report, 1951 in Manipur State Census Hand Book Volume II, only names of villages and number of population (both male and female) are found and there are no detail reports of "family head or family members" .

The former MP said that in the handbook, the total population of State was 577635, out of which 2,93,950 were males and 2,83,685 females.

Of these, 3,38,909 were Meiteis, 1,94,239 Tribals, 37,197 Muslims and 7,290 others respectively.

Regarding the Village Directory 1951, on the book title "Manipur Code Part II", the tribal villages including in the valley are 1106 during 1946-1947 and these villages are grouped into circles as Sadar circle No 1 and No 2, Ukhrul Circle No 1, No 2 and No 3 and Tamenglong Circle No 1, No 2 and No 3 for the purpose of administration under the Hill People Regulation.

He said there are estimated 2000 tribal villages according to the list of villages for the conduct of District Council Election 2015 and these exclude the number of tribal villages particularly Zeliangrong tribes in the valley, he added.

During the seminar, AMTU President and also former minister DP Panmei also spoke on tribal rights and current issues.

Papers submitted by DFO Tamenglong Huri Gonmei and AMTU President and retired IAS Jerol Sumpi on the theme, "Tribal land ownership in Manipur hill district and its dimensional revenue values." Their papers were read out by AMTU General Secretary Romeo Bungdon as they could not turn up for the event.

After the presentations from the resource persons, there was a discussion and deliberation on the themes of the day.

At the end of the seminar, the participants adopted two resolutions.

The first resolution deals with preservation of the Manipur tribal lands, customs, cultures, traditions and forest lands within the framework of the Indian Constitution.

The second resolution urged the Government of Manipur to withdraw the three Bills as there were many constitutional loopholes and contradictions besides violation of rules and procedures of business in Manipur Legislative Assembly.

The seminar was attended by over 60 village chiefs and tribe leaders.


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