TODAY -

Public consultation dissects HAC endorsed ADC Bill, 2021
Source: Chronicle News Service

Senapati, October 25 2021: A one day public consultative meet on the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) recommended ADC Bill, 2021 was held at Ecological Park, Mayangkhang with participation of HAC members, CSO leaders and student leaders of the hills.

The consultative meet organised by Senapati District Students' Association (SDSA) under the aegis of All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur (ATSUM) was attended by MLAs TN Haokip, DD Thaisii, Alfred Arthur and N Kayisii, former ADC members, representatives from ATSUM, ANSAM, KSO-GHQ and their federating units.

In his welcome address, SDSA president Pung Mark stated that the proposed ADC Bill will decide the fate of the people in the hills.

The student leader called such gathering important as the experts share their thoughts on the issue.

In his keynote address, ATSUM general secretary SR Andria said that since inception it has been working to ensure rights of the tribal people of the state guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

Rights of the tribal people have been denied for so long that the tribal has every right to claim for it including reservation of seats in prestigious colleges, institutions, government service or larger aspect of land and forest as given under Article 371 (C) of the Indian Constitution.

HAC members have come up to safeguard the rights of the tribal in the state.

ATSUM imposed indefinite blockade in the past for tabling the ADC Bill, 2021.The Constitution has been amended many times in the past but according to the wishes of the majority community of the state and not in the interest of the tribal, he said, adding that the Bill is not to disintegrate the state as claimed by valley based CSOs but prepared according to provisions of the Indian Constitution.

The huge disparity between the hills and the valley compelled the apex student body to launch a collective movement till the goal is achieved, he added.

Giving his observation at the meet, MLA TN Haokip stated that with the coming of ADC in the hills, things might not be like the present if the operation was made as per the 6th Schedule provision as given in the Northeast where the tribal people are minority.

During the 1990s, the tribal leaders put up the question if the ADC is operated under state mercy and not as given in 6th Schedule and accordingly 'No 6th schedule, no ADC election' campaign was launched and banned in the hills of Manipur for 20 years.

Another type of amended Bill that is better than 6th Schedule was introduced during the Congress regime but could not be implemented in principle.

The tribal people want to live in love and peace by implementing the Bill into Act in the state, he added.

In his observation, MLA Alfred Arthur, who is also the sub-committee chairman of the HAC, stated that the pain of the tribals made him courageous to stand up for their rights.

All of the steps that the state government is pretending to give to the tribals are an illusion.

Anything that is under the hills should remain within the purview of Hill Areas Committee.

The Rule book entitles all rights to every citizen in the state to enjoy benefits from the government and through it every individual enjoys the rights as given in the Rule Book.

Government of India thinks that the Rule Book is followed in Manipur but it is opposite in actual practice when it comes to schedule matters.

Alfred sought the cooperation of all so as to make progressive and sustainable environment in the land as he joins the fight for the rights of the tribal people.

So many decades have passed without realising these rights, he regretted.

Karong MLA DD Thaisii, in his address, stated that when one reads the Article 371 (C) and Presidential Order, HAC is operational only in Manipur and not in other parts of the country with ADC different from 5th schedule and 6th schedule.

The recommended draft of the HAC was made by a team of Supreme Court Judges through efforts and resources which was made within the constitution of India and within the ambit of Article 371 (C).

Around 50 years had passed without achieving the target of ensuring rights of the tribal people in the state, he said, adding preparation took four and half years since the beginning of the 11th state assembly.

The recommended Bill of the HAC was not tabled in the state assembly and also not referred to Governor as placed by the HAC as given in the Constitution.

The MLA also sought all tribal people to join hands together and stand united in the fight for the rights of the tribals and creating mass awareness to the public through mass mobilization.


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