TODAY -

Chief Minister Grants 4 Hour Long Audience To Agitating Students
ATSUM suspends stir with immediate effect

Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Imphal, June 12 2013: The All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur (ATSUM) has 'suspended' its agitation today after a four-hour long talk with the Chief Minister this evening.

ATSUM has been agitating since June 3 .

What conspired in today's talk was not known but ATSUM leaders said that major points in their charter of demands have been fulfilled by the State Government.

On November 27 last year, ATSUM had apprised the Government of Manipur to address issues pertaining to tribal people of Manipur and the hill districts, of which, effective governance in the hill districts is one among the demands.

Last year, the tribal students' body of Manipur in its lengthy memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister of Manipur had demanded Manipur State Commission for the Scheduled Tribes.

It also demanded adequate teaching and non-teaching staff in the education institutions in the hill districts with better infrastructure.

Signed by its president Maun Tombing and its general secretary Vareiyo Shatsang, ATSUM in its memorandum said, "It has been our long standing aspiration to form a State Commission of the Scheduled Tribes in Manipur under the Article 338A of the Indian Constitution which would usher in all round development and progress in respect of the Tribal people in this eastern most part of the Indian Union.

The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes which came into force on 19th February, 2004 has failed to provide adequate service to the State of Manipur as it is based on the distant centre in Shillong" .

According to the ATSUM memorandum, the State of Karnataka in 2002 had established the State Commission for SC/ST under the name and style 'The Karnataka State Commission for Scheduled Tribes Act, 2002'.It said the tribal population is the second largest in the State of Manipur but the pace of development is rather too slow till today comparing to that of the non-tribal populace.

There has been the Manipur State Commission for OBC which is to safeguard the rights of the other backward classes, the ATSUM representation added.

In the light of the above facts and circumstances, it is our earnest plea that the Manipur State Commission for the ST be set up in the earnest date, the tribal students' body stated.

One point of the ATSUM memorandum said, "We demand adequate number of both teaching and non-teaching staff in the educational institutions in the hill areas of Manipur state.

We also demand that proper infrastructures for the educational institutions in the five hill districts be provided promptly as to facilitate smooth functioning of the academic sessions" .

The memo also touched on the tribal rights and the issue of the natural resources and said, "Protection of the rights of the indigenous tribal people over the land, forest and management of natural resources in the hill areas of Manipur should be taken care of by the Government as to dispense of justice guaranteed by the law of the land.

It has been our firm stand to safeguard such rights and against unjust tapping of natural resources without prior information and consent of the indigenous land owners.

Any arbitrary extraction of natural, mineral resources and acquisition of lands cannot be tolerated any more longer.

The ATSUM shall be compelled to mobilize for all kinds of action programmes and agitation through the democratic means, should the Government stay in deferent to the genuine demand" .


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