TODAY -

Tribal bodies threaten stir over posting
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Imphal, July 11 2019: Tribal organisations in Manipur have expressed strong opposition to the posting of a "non-tribal officer" to be the Joint Secretary and Director of Tribal Affairs and Hills Department (TA & Hills), Government of Manipur.

In this connection, the All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur (ATSUM) and the All Tribal Rights Protection Forum, Manipur (ATRPFM) are likely to launch intense form of agitation within two days' time.

The ATSUM has submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister on Thursday in this regard.

"We will wait till tomorrow for the State Government to respond to our demand," an ATSUM leader informed Newmai News Network this evening.

Meanwhile, issuing a statement with a heading, "no compromise in the matter of transfer and posting of a non-tribal as Director in TA & Hills Department at any cost", the All Tribal Rights Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) demanded the revocation of "impugned order dated 08.07.2019 issued by the Chief Secretary (DP), Government of Manipur with regard to transfer and posting of a non-tribal as Director of the said department" .

While expressing "shock", and also and "saddened" to see that a non-tribal, Arambam Valentina, IAS, as Joint Secretary and Director of TA & Hills, the ATRPFM said that since the inception of the department, "tribal IAS officers" have been placed as head of the department as Director, ACS/Principal Secretary.

It also said that, even the Minister concerned of the department has been from the tribal community right from the beginning.

"However, to our surprise, the Government issued an impugned order on July 8, 2019, considering many tribal IAS officers are not fit to hold the post, which is arbitrary, biased and humiliating for many tribal bureaucrats", it added.

The ATRPFM said that the department is responsible not only to the department itself but also responsible to Tribal Research Institute (TRI) and MTDC which need thorough and well versed knowledge and concerns of tribal customs, cultures, identities and nature of livelihood, and also responsible for a line department in every hill autonomous district.

"Thus, an officer who has little knowledge of the tribal people is not fit to hold the post of Director (TA&Hills) in any manner, and may be create problem to him/her later.

All these conditions say that the department should be headed by a tribal bureaucrat", it asserted.

According to the tribal forum, it is not about community based "ideology/concept", but the works itself demand that such an officer should have thorough knowledge about tribal people.

The ATRPFM then alleged that "non-tribal officers" have no concerns for tribal people.

It then said that "impugned order dated 08.07.2019 has been issued without the knowledge" of the Minister concerned, which is highly arbitrary and biased on the part of the State Government.

"Simultaneously, it will be a threat to good governance by issuing such an impugned order," the Forum added.

According to ATRPFM, once a non-tribal was a Minister of TA & Hills and also post of Director was held by a non-tribal who have no knowledge of tribal practices, "thereby causing conflicts among the tribal communities which is not constructive at all" .

"Therefore, we appeal the State Government and the department concerned to review and recall the Director of TA & Hills immediately and appoint a tribal officer, failing which we shall be compelled to take up necessary action," it cautioned.


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