TODAY -

ATSUM rejects pact, suspends vice president
Confusion over blockade status as news agency claims withdrawal of stir

Source: Chronicle News Service

Senapati, August 09 2022: An emergency meeting of the All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur (ATSUM) and its federating units held in Senapati district on Tuesday suspended the vice president of the apex tribal student body.

This development comes after the ATSUM vice president Vanlallien Khaute appended his signature in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the state government and different tribal student bodies on August 7 without consulting his executives and office bearers.

Addressing media persons at Senapati town, ATSUM finance secretary Kakai Singsit stated that ATSUM together with federating units had a crucial discussion and deliberation on the ongoing situation in the hill areas of Manipur.

The meeting decided to denounce the MoU that was signed between government of Ma nipur and different tribal student bodies on August 7, as not a single office bearers and executives were con suited when the MoU was signed on that day.

Whoever signed in it (MoU) had done in their own individual capacity without consulting his colleagues and the executives, he added.

"In view of his unilateral decision, Vanlallien Khaute stands suspended from the executives of the ATSUM," the finance secretary announced.

In the meantime, the student leader informed that another meeting will be held on Wednesday at 2 pm during which all stakeholders of ATSUM, ANSAM and KSO-GHQ and federating units will have a thorough discussion on how to move forward in the present scenario.

In a press communique issued on Tuesday, ATSUM and its federating units also denounced the agreement signed between the state government, Hill Areas Committee and ATSUM, ANSAM & KSO-GHQ on August 7 in matters relating to the impasse of the HAC recommended "The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021" .

According to the statement, the decision for the denouncement was made in the event of the agreement being signed at the unilateral capacity and decision of the individuals involved in the agreement without consulting the executives of ATSUM and federating units.

"In this regard, the office of ATSUM suspends Vanlallien Khaute from the post of vice president, ATSUM with immediate effect for gross violation of the conduct of the union by unilaterally appending signature to the agreement dated August 7, 2022," the ATSUM statement read.

ATSUM, ANSAM and KSO GHQ and its federating units together with senior leaders are reportedly convening an emergency meeting on August 10 to seek a common way forward of the ongoing movement for introducing the HAC recommended "The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021" in the Manipur Legislative Assembly and enactment of the same into an Act.

Meanwhile, news agency IANS quoted 'officials' as saying that the five-day old 'economic blockade', called by the All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM), along the national highways has been withdrawn on Tuesday and movement of goods-laden stranded vehicles underway.

With the lifting of the blockade, the Manipur government also restored the mobile data (internet) services, the agency reported, adding that ATSUM took the decision subsequent to assurance by the government of Manipur that more administrative powers and autonomy would be devolved to the tribal bodies.

Due to the blockade, over 700 goods-laden vehicles were stranded till Tuesday morning along the National Highway-2, which connects Manipur with the rest of the country by road, via Nagaland.

Security forces also reportedly escorted 510 goods-laden vehicles to move to their destinations till Monday afternoon.


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