COPTAM, Saikul NPO on opposite ends of land issue
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, October 07 2011:
While the Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas Manipur (COPTAM) categorically stated that bifurcation or fragmentation of any hill district should be done with due consent of the Hill Areas Committee on the recommendation of the respective Autonomous District Councils, the Saikul Area Naga People's Organisation asserted that the status quo of the present Senapati district should be maintained.
The two organisations put their respective view points on the Sadar Hills issue at a public hearing before the Committee on Re-organisation of Administrative and Police Boundaries headed by the Chief Secretary at his office chamber this afternoon.
The public hearing was also attended by DGP Y Joykumar, Home Commissioner Binod Kishpota and Revenue Commissioner S Sunderlal.
However, UCM and NPO stayed away from today's public hearing.
COPTAM representatives led by its chairman Letpu Haokip demanded that the State Government should ensure that the original hill district boundaries are restored and maintained on the basis of village boundaries recognised and recorded in the Manipur State Hill People's (Administration) Regulation, 1947 .
Jiribam and adjacent areas should remain part and parcel of the hill administration even if districthood status must be given to these areas, they asserted.
Saying that some pockets of the hill areas being 'surveyed land' cannot be a valid argument for transferring the said pockets to valley districts or convert them into revenue villages, the COPTAM representatives asserted that the Hill Department and the concerned hill district administration were competent authorities to deal with matters relating to management and maintenance of land records.
Even if there must be re-organisation of administrative boundaries, areas or villages that fall under the constituency of hill district MLAs and MDCs should continue to be part of the hill administration.
Another point raised by the COPTAM representatives was that bifurcation of hill district or any part thereof should be done on the basic of recommendation from concerned Autonomous District Councils with mandatory approval of the Hill Areas Committee.
Stating that police administration should be never be mixed up with the general district administration, they demanded opening of more police outposts in the hill areas instead of administering pockets of hill districts from adjacent valley districts.
On the other hand, leaders of the Saikul Area Naga People's Organisation led by its information and publicity secretary AS Leisipem put before the public hearing to maintain status quo of the present Senapati district.
Saying that the advocates of Sadar Hills district never consulted the Nagas of Saikul area before putting their demand before the Government, they contended that the Sadar Hills district demand was not based on consensus.
Should district status be granted to Sadar Hills, Naga villages of Sadar Hills area should be allowed to merge with Senapati district or Ukhrul district according to convenience.
Taking part in the public hearing, members of Tongjei Maril District Demand Committee urged upon the Government to make Tongjei Maril a full fledged district.