Ukhrul denounces ADC 2008 Act
Source: The Sangai Express / Addie CHiphang

Ukhrul, April 05 2010: Thousands of Ukhrul people congregated at Tangkhul Naga Long ground and held a public meeting concerning Autonomous District Council election and unanimously declared to reject the ADC 2008 Act, here today.

The meeting was organized under the aegis of Tangkhul frontal organizations including representatives of UNC, TNL, TKS, TSL,TMNL, NPMHR, ANSAM and HKL.

During the public meeting, ADC 2008 Act /Bill was burned to symbolically demonstrate the right rejection of the said Act and its contents, led by the president of Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong.

After the public meeting a key to 'Know Your Rights' was distributed which states that Article 371-C of the Constitution of India read with Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order,1972 by the president of India empower the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) with immense authority and great responsibility for efficient administration of the tribal areas of Manipur.

Addressing the gathering leaders of the organisations claimed that the Government of Manipur under the autocratic and dominant force of the non-tribals, coupled with the ignorance and complacency of the elected representative of the tribals, have deprived us from enacting and enforcing such laws and rules which will uphold and strengthen democratic process at the grass-root level in the hills.

Elaborating that the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act third Amendment 2008, section 29(i) clause XIII empowers district council to occupy and sell/allot land from villages, the social leaders said it can also set apart certain areas of village land for any purpose which the Council thinks fit.

The speakers maintained that this directly infringes on the rights of the village authority of the tribal village and also contradicts the Manipur state Hill people administration and its regulation of 1947 and the Manipur village Authority in Hill Areas Act, 1956 .

They further maintained that section 29 (1) clause (X!V) of the Act also empowers district councils to manage forest and to declare National Park or Reserve Forest without much ado, section 29 (2) (a) also empowers State Government for appointment or succession of chief/headman/chairman without the knowledge or approval of the village concerned.

Moreover, section 29 (2) (b) can issue on its own volition on matters relating to inheritance of property, marriage and divorce and control or regulation of custom and tradition and also empowers the Deputy Commissioners with 46 (3) of the Act to suspend any resolution of the district council if /he /she thinks it improper or contravenes rules.

All this rule are nothing but contravenes the rights of the Tribal people keeping the deputy commissioner all powerful and also matters in his/her whims and mercy in spite of the fact that the district council are constituted by elected representative of the people, the statement alleged.

The UNC speaker after the meeting informed The Sangai Express, that holding of district council election in haste without knowing the spirit and contents of the Act and the Rules will only lead to further exploitation of the tribals.

This Act of 2008 is literally an act of invasion of the polity, economy customs and tradition of the hill people of Manipur and if the scheduled election is held under the said rule and Act the tribal people will be the victims of economic and political exploitation and stagnation for another generation to come, added the secretary general of ANSAM.