TODAY -

Tribal leaders' body censures PMP Bill 2015
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 18 2015: Categorically stating that the Protection of Manipur People (PMP) Bill 2015 is an ill conceived Bill which lacks transparency and accountability, the All Tribal Leaders' Consultative Committee (ATLCC) has urged the Government to either reject or withdraw the same Bill.

Speaking to media persons here today, ATLCC member T Haokip said that all the three documents cited for recognition of Manipur people in the PMP Bill are unreliable.

The first document - the National Register of Citizens, 1951, is non-existent as admitted by the Directorate of Census Operations.

It cannot be relied for the purpose of the Bill.

The Second document - The Census Report, 1951, cannot be accepted as a reliable document for the purpose of the Bill because the names of persons residing in the Villages/Towns are not indicated and as such the names of "Manipur persons" as defined under Clause (b) of Sect.2 of the Bill are non-existent.

Going by this definition there are no Manipur Persons either in the Valley or the Hills and therefore all residents of Manipur as of today are non-Manipur persons (foreigners) in terms of the above definition in Sect.2 (b) of the Bill.

And as per the Village Directory, only in some Circles the names of the Village, Names of the Chiefs and the No.of Households are given.

Hence, according to the Village Directory, only some of the Village Chiefs whose names appear in the Directory and their descendents will be Manipur persons as per definition under Sect.

2, Clause (b) of the Protection of Manipur People, Bill.

Apparently, only 5 per cent of the tribals will be considered as Manipur Persons by applying the Village Directory as the yardstick to determine who Manipur Persons will be under the definition given in Sect.

2, (b) of the said Bill.

The rest of the tribals will be Non-Manipur Persons as per Sect.2, (c) of the Bill.

A paradigm shift in the issue of the Bills will reveal the pre-eminence of the three relied upon documents over other aspects of the Bill such as the violation of the legal procedural matters of the Rules of Business of the Assembly and the Money Bill issues.

The deliberate move of the State Government to push the three controversial Bills through the floor of the House as Money Bill by flouting the constitutional procedures and rules of the Assembly in deliberately by-passing the HAC make the whole thing a mockery of democracy, T Haokip remarked.

Nonetheless, the State Government, commencing with the traditional Chin-Kuki custom of Hiemkhaam, has paved the way for a fresh dialogue.

As the three Bills are likely to languish on the table of the President for uncertain period of time, both parties must use their collective wisdom and utmost caution in finding a lasting solution to the vex problem, he said.

The recent announcement by the Ministry of Home Affairs that it will be the endeavour of the Centre to address the issue in the best interest of all sections of the people and the Ministry of Home Affairs will consult all stake holders including the State Government and the people of the hills and the valley before arriving at any decision in matters of the Bills was a positive indication that the Centre is contemplating to find an early solution to the problem, T Haokip remarked.


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