TODAY -

Tribal bodies raise bandh call on NHs
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 06 2019: With the Government failing to pay heed to their demands, the All Tribal Rights Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) and All Tribal Chief Forum Manipur (ATCFM) have decided to impose an indefinite bandh on all National Highways from December 16 .

A statement issued by James Haokip, general secretary ATRPFM said that they are compelled to impose the bandh as the State Government has failed to address issues concerning bifurcation/recognition of new villages, funds and pension for ADCs, census and 'illegal' eviction of tribal people.

All matters relating to creation/recognition of new villages or bifurcation of a village in hill areas were done by the TA & Hills, Govt of Manipur since the beginning.

However, the same were allocated to Revenue Department by an office memorandum (OM) dated June 8, 2008 issued by Principal Secretary (Revenue) under the Business of the Government of Manipur (Allocation) Rules, 2009.The said office memorandum is "illegal" on the ground that MLR & LR Act, 1960 is not extended in the hill areas.

And as mandated under Article 371C of the Indian Constitution, the Governor is to submit Annual Report prepared by the TA&Hills, Manipur to the President of India.

Hence, the State Government should re-allocate all the matters relating to the creation/recognition of new villages or bifurcation of a village in hill areas of Manipur in accordance with law, said the ATRPFM.

Grant-in-aid for ADCs has paralysed their functioning and ADC Members do not enjoy pension.

ADCs should be funded directly and honorarium of Chairman, Vice Chairman, Executive Members and ADC Members should be revised, said ATRPFM.

There are many villages which are under the jurisdiction of two districts thereby causing confusion and hardship among the people.

Hence, inter-district boundaries must be defined clearly and past Census records must be corrected in the coming Census 2021 .

Many tribal villages were found 'missing' in the 2011 Census and Socio-Economic & Caste Census which deprived them of welfare schemes.

Therefore all villages should be included in the coming 2021 Census and the 7th Socio-Economic & Caste Census 2019, added ATRPFM.

The village Chiefs/ex-officio Chairmen are heads of the Village Authorities and all the members of Village Authorities in the hill areas are elected members under the Village Authorities Act, 1956 .

Hence, they should be included in the warrant of precedence, said the forum.

Right to shelter is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution and also right on land of tribal people and other traditional forest dwellers are well recognised by the Forest Rights Act, 2006 as well as International Conventions/Instruments.

Forest Department shall have no right to evict the tribal people from their residences/villages, advocated the forum appealing for equal representation in educational institutions and service sector according to population size.

There has been an increase in the Scheduled Tribe population from 31 percent in 2001 Census to 35.1 percent in the 2011 Census.

Accordingly, the Manipur Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services for SCs and STs Rules, 2011 should be amended and given reservation in proportion with population in the interest of equal representation in all areas, said ATRPFM.

The bandh will be effective in all NHs and all tribal areas, it said.


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