ANSAM calls for 72 hr chaka bandh in Naga areas
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, July 08 2010: The All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM) and the United Naga Council (UNC) jointly have called for a 72 hour "Chaka Bandh" in all Naga areas with effect from 6 pm of July 12 in protest against what the two Naga bodies called "the undemocratic and suppressive acts of the state Government of Manipur" towards the tribals.

However, emergency and essential services namely, medical, electricity, fire-service, water supply, postal and telecom services will be exempted from the purview of the bandh.

Any untoward incidents arising out of violation of the proposed restriction will be at one's own risk, the Publicity Wing of ANSAM warned.

Naga people and general public have been urged to extend their solidarity by restraining themselves from travelling in any kind of vehicles during the bandh.

The decision to call for the 72 hour "Chaka Bandh" was taken at a joint meeting of the two Naga bodies held yesterday at Senapati.

In a press release the ANSAM said that the tribals in the present state of Manipur have consistently demanded the extension of the provisions of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution of India to the hill areas of Manipur since 1990 .

After agreeing to accede to the demand, the Government of Manipur, however, maliciously stonewalled the process by inserting a rider that the 6th Schedule would be extended after "local adjustments and amendments".

It said, "Instead of sincerely pursuing their commitment, after 20 long years the Manipur State Government came out with the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (3rd Amendment) Act 2008, doctored and stripped off of all the provisions that go into self governance and the rights of the hill people over their land and resources, and removing the primacy of the traditional institutions of the tribal" .

"The voice of the Naga people which has been raised loud and clear was that the ADC election should not be imposed till such time the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (3rd Amendment) Act, 2008 was amended to secure the rights of the tribal people over their lands and the pre-eminence of tribal institutions which provides for democratic polity within their societies, and their right to self governance enshrined in the Indian constitution.

This illegal manner in which the amendment was rushed through and the manner in which the ADC elections under the "unwanted 2008 Act" was imposed in the face of strong protests contravene the rights of the tribal people.

Left with no option, the Naga people under the leadership of United Naga Council were compelled to declare ADC election "Null and Void" and further forewarned that under no circumstance the ADC shall be allowed to function in Naga areas.

However, the Government of Manipur recently went ahead with their adamant attitude by administering oath to the infamous ADC candidates.

The ANSAM demands all the unmandated members of ADC for immediate abdication from the office of the so called Autonomous District Council," the press release said.

It further said that the Naga people have been persistently demonstrating democratic forms of agitation to register their grievances thereby to secure their rights to existence over their own land.

However, instead of addressing the pertinent issues at hand, the Government of Manipur responded by choosing to issue arrest warrants against leaders of Naga civil societies with "wanted tag" on the 7th June, 2010.Such act of criminalizing our leaders in whom we keep our hope and trust clearly speaks of the hegemonic agenda of the communal state Government.

ANSAM has made its position clear that any attempt to militarize the Naga People's areas, which threaten the right to existence and dignity of life, will not be tolerated.

Yet, the state Government of Manipur continues to treat some of Naga areas as unsecured zone which otherwise are peaceful places.

The intrusion of the security forces is by itself the cause of law and order situation in the otherwise peaceful Naga areas and that the protection of life and property of its citizen should be a priority, is farthest from the considerations of the communal Government of Manipur, the press release alleged.