TODAY -

JAC-Churachandpur walks out of meeting with CM Ibobi
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, November 09 2015: The first meeting with Joint Action Committee Against Anti Tribal Bills (JAC-AATB) and the State Government was held on Monday at Chief Minister's Bungalow after more than two months when the three Bills connected with the protection of indigenous people were rejected by tribal communities in Manipur.

Sources told Hueiyen Lanpao that the meeting started at around 2 pm attended by the JAC-AATB members; Chief Minister O Ibobi; Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam; Commerce and Industries Minister Govindas Konthoujam and Chief Secretary O Nabakishore representing the Government.

The JAC was represented by Chief Convenor H Mangchinkhup and Convenor/Secretary Lalkhohao Chongloi. However, the meeting ended in a stalemate as it could not arrive at an understanding.

The JAC members walked out from the meeting venue after the Chief Minister kept asking the JAC to pin point the contents which had hurt the sentiments of the tribal people in the three Bills passed by Manipur Legislative Assembly on August 31, said sources.

The JAC submitted a charter of demands to the Chief Minister which pointed out the elements within the Bills which had hurt the sentiments of tribal people.

The four-page charter of demands also served a five-day ultimatum on holding tripartite talks on the issues highlighted so far.

JAC stated that the talks should include a representative from the Ministry of Home Affairs who is not lower than the rank of Joint Secretary.

Asking the Government of Manipur to "call back" the three Bills, JAC also stated that the government should fulfill the tribal customary law and traditional practice of paying "luang man" for the dead and "etkoina/kepna" for those who were injured since the official acceptance of "guilt" by agreeing to perform "Hiamkhaam" on November 2 last.

The JCA stated that the venue of the proposed talks should be held at "any suitable location" in Chrachandpur District.

On fulfilling the demands mentioned as prerequisites, the JAC wanted the insertion of "The Act shall not be extended within the jurisdiction of the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils as well as Hill Pocket villages encroached by the Panchayati Raj Institution" in the Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015 .

JAC said that the cut off year 1951 should be modified to 1981 and pointed out that the line "who have contributed collective social, culture and economic life of Manipur" should be deleted from the definition of Manipur people.

"Manipur people means persons of Manipur whose names are in the census report 1981 and their descendants", said the JAC.

The term 'Native People of the State of Manipur that appears in section 8 (a) of the protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015 must be clearly defined (done in the first draft ie the Manipur Native People Protection Bill, 2015) by inserting additional clause for the legal protection of the Manipur (Hill Areas) district councils within its jurisdiction and should mean indigenous communities (scheduled tribes) in the Hill Areas as well as original settlers of the valley areas in the State, said the JAC.


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