Tribal MLAs' resignation demanded
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, April 25 2010: While demanding the resignation of tribal MLAs of Manipur for their failure to stand up and protect the tribal peoples rights, the Zeliangrong Students' Union, Manipur (ZSUM) and Npui Students' Union (NSU) said that it is a mockery from the part of the state government to call Autonomous District Council (ADC) elections when only District Councils (DCs) exist.

ZSUM information secretary Micah Kamei and Npui students' body president James Inkah said the state apathy towards the hill areas is clear enough with the elevations of power, status and privilege for Zilla Parishads while the District Councils in Manipur are reduced to a toothless institutions.

Stating this, the Zeliangrong Students' Union Manipur (ZSUM) and the Npui Students' Union (NSU) on Sunday pointed out that the ADC Act's '3rd Amendment of 2008 was just a recast of District Council Act of 1971 without legislative, judiciary and financial powers for the Manipur six district councils, saying it is never Autonomous District Councils because the Act is devoid of the word Autonomous etc'.

Elucidating it, the two bodies accused chief minister O.Ibobi Singh for his 'unbecoming nature of his status for the one-sided mindset to promote the Panchayati Raj system of the valley alone'.

The ZSUM and NSU further accuse the chief minister for 'ignoring and concealing the facts regarding the Centre's recommended/favoured 6th scheduled for hill areas and spoke of only the partial aspect of early district council elections (not ADC) which New Delhi desires'.

To the 20 Member of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) representing the hill areas, the two students' bodies said the tribal MLAs should resign soon as they have remained silent from doing the needful for the hill areas empowered under Article 371 (c) of the Indian Constitution.

The two students' bodies then cited the Joint Action Committee against election under unwanted Act-2008, United Naga Council (UNC), All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM), All Tribal Students' Union Manipur, Senapati District Students' Association (SDSA), Kuki Students Organisation (KSO), Zeliangrong Students, Union Manipur (ZSUM), Naga Peoples' Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Naga Women Union Manipur (NWUM), Npui Student Union (NSU), Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS), Naga Students Union Chandel (NSUC) and all those concerned organizations shall continue to fight the injustice on the part of Manipur's government.

In the meant time, the ZSUM and NSU mentioned that the indefinite economic blockade is effectively going on along the national highway (NH)-39, NH-53 and other highways in protest against the 'imposition of election under unwanted District Council Act, 2008' .

It disclosed that 60 goods loaded trucks coming from Silchar to Imphal along the NH-53 were intercepted by the bandh supporters in all strategic places.

"Pelting stones and other disruptive activities were active along the NH-53 while the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel escorting the vehicles opened blank fire at Khuji (Lukhambi) Part-III, Rangkung and Noney before the midnight of April 24", it added.

The two students' bodies also disclosed that some good laden trucks were damaged and some drivers got injured too.

It asserted that the protest (economic blockade) will continue with renewed vigour along with various actions.

It then warned the violators to face consequences coming out of the agitation, adding even the work of railway line may be jeopardized.

Media and health related services will be out of the agitation purview, it said.