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Unjustified rejection of thousands of eligible voters in electoral roll list

October 20, 2012

SIPHRO Logo SINLUNG INDIGENOUS PEOPLES HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATION



SINLUNG INDIGENOUS PEOPLES HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATION (SIPHRO)
Truth, Justice and Peace
Website: www . siphro . org
Email: siphro @ gmail . com
Address: C-408, Purvasha Apartment, Mayur Vihar-1, Delhi - 11009

Ref. No.: SIPHRO/EC/20/10/12
Dated: October 20, 2012

To,
Shri V.S.Sampath
Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner
Election Commission of India
New Delhi-110001

Subject: Unjustified rejection of thousands of eligible voters name in the electoral roll list of 55-Tipaimukh, 59-Saikot and 58-Churachandpur Assembly Constituencies under Churachandpur district of Manipur.


Sir,

We are disappointed to say that thousands of eligible voters residing under the above mentioned constituencies of Churachandpur district, Manipur have been denied their franchise rights without proper justification by the Election Commissions’ machinery within the State in spite of submitting their applications in the prescribed forms on many occasions.

It maybe mentioned that since May, 2011 Sinlung Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Organisation (SIPHRO) had voluntarily and independently conducted rigorous survey and fact finding for months in above-mentioned constituencies with a view to register qualified voters and identify the factors behind the serious discrimination. In its preliminary survey SIPHRO met and collected photos of qualified citizens who were never enrolled in the electoral roll. In the process, more than Seven Thousand (7,000) eligible names and photographs belong to Hmar tribe (Scheduled Tribe) have been collected in the Form-6 in three constituencies , and had been duly submitted to the concerned authorities during 2011 revision. According to our findings, the number of unregistered, but, eligible voters would exceed over ten thousand (10,000) if we were assisted with resources and manpower for the purpose.

Unfortunately, the Deputy Commissioner of the District demanded that each applicants might stand trial for physical verification at its office in the district headquarters, which is impractical for the poor tribal people who settled remotely in the hills and mountain. Also, physical verification of the eligible names submitted in the Form-6 should be undertaken by the concerned authorities as it is a mandatory provisions of election, and which has been publicise to a great length by the Election Commission of India.

We are at pain to mentioned here that due to certain reasons, in every revision process the election machinery in the district often omit and reject applications for inclusions at the last stage of final roll publication. This message has now sent a very negative impression among certain general public, which totally negate the enthusiasm and interest of a community to approach and give their names to the district election officials as the decades of unwanted experiences has secluded them from securing their Constitutional rights. The monotonous and expensive exercise exerted by the government fails to have productive meaning in these marginalised constituencies as it is biased, corrupt and ineffective.

It is also believed that certain level of active players are said to be acting in this issue from certain unforeseen quarters to prevent enrolment of eligible voters. We have also submitted a representation to the Commission in this regard in 2011 but no actions has been taken in the matter [copy enclosed – Ref. No. SIPHRO/EC/21/11/11 – dated November 21, 2011]. We are very much doubtful that this year also all process would be finished at the table of the Dy. Commissioners’/District Election office without any proper justification.

In view of this we pray that the Commission conduct physical verification at each concerned polling stations to ascertain the facts on claims of applications submitted by the genuine electors. It is prayed that until the above mentioned voters listed are enrolled, the Commission may kindly relaxed its provision of Laws in order to accommodate locals NGOs participation in the Voters Lists preparedness to honour the citizens basic Franchise Right and also as a process of cleaning the voters list.

SIPHRO is convinced that democracy without suffrage amounts to denial of the fundamental rights and privileges as equally enshrined in the Constitution for every citizen of the country. The serious discrimination must end in the interest of strengthening and securing democracy for all. In this pursuit, SIPHRO demands that:

1. Every qualified Hmar citizens from the above mentioned constituencies should be immediately registered in the electoral roll and provided with the Elector's photo Identity Card.
2. The submitted forms (in Form 6) of invisible citizens must be immediately approved. Despite the significant numbers, SIPHRO could not identify and collect the photos of all unregistered citizens due to limited resources. The submitted forms are still an indicative evidence of the larger gaps.
3. The Election Commission of India, State Election Commission (Manipur) and the concerned authorities of Churachandpur district and Jiribam (Imphal West) must constitute new process to register every qualified Hmar citizens in the electoral roll.
4. The Election Commission of India must constitute an enquiry commission in the above-mentioned constituencies in the interest of securing and strengthening democracy at the grassroots level.
5. As in the case of Andhra Pradesh, the Election Commission of India must come up with innovative scheme for the speedy enrolment (seven days) of voters in the above-mentioned constituencies of Churachandpur district (Manipur). The Election Commission of India must prepare a separate Electoral Roll Management System for the purpose.
6. The Election Commission of India must direct all necessary authorities to adopt strong political will, truth and fairness in decentralising democracy to the grassroots level.

Sincerely,
(LALREMLIEN NEITHAM)
Secretary, SIPHRO





* This info was sent by SIPHRO who can be contacted at siphro(at)gmail(dot)com
This Press Release was posted on October 20, 2012.


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