Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 04 2010: Endorsing the economic blockade imposed by UNC, Senapati District Students' Association (SDSA) has demanded the State Govt to immediately fulfil the demands of UNC failing of which would invite more intensified agitations.

Dubbing the attitude of the State Govt as biased and unfortunate, SDSA said that it would support and cooperate with the UNC.

SDSA would like to extend its sincere support to the genuine movement of Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas, Manipur (COPTAM) in protecting the rights and lands of the tribals in Manipur as well, it said and strongly condemned the assault of some CDSU leaders on July 29 .

The repressive policy of the State Govt in collaboration with some valley districts to re-demarcate and encroach on the tribal boundaries and land is non-negotiable and there will be no compromise on this, it added.

Alleging that such a thing is not new, SDSA said that a series of attempts were made in the past to occupy lands bordering the valley districts through different means of illegal encroachment.

For some of the valley districts, SDSA said, the recent census operation 2011 seems to have created an opportunity to expand its 'artificial' boundaries within the original land and exploit its resources.

SDSA while extending its endorsement to the COPTAM's demand pressed the State Govt to fulfill the demands of UNC and COPTAM at the earliest.

Boundary quandary : As the impasse over the alleged manipulation of hill district boundaries and over-lapping of 2011 Census operation in hill districts continues, the Kuki Students' OrganizationGeneral Headquarters (KSO-GHQ) and All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) blamed the State Government for the whole episode, reports NNN.

Since the violent incident of July 29 at the border area of Churachandpur and Bishenpur districts over the issue, no passenger buses are plying between Imphal and Churachandpur.

While taking serious note of the development the ANSAM and KSO said that the 'adamant attitude' of the state government of Manipur towards the tribals had led to the ugly episode of the July 29 in and around Kangvai village in Churachandpur district resulting in physical injuries of some of the leaders of Churachandpur District Students' Union (CDSU).

"This situation took place in the backdrop of the democratic agitation launched by Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas in Manipur (COPTAM) for protection of the rights of the tribals from the hands of unscrupulous aggressors and has been seen as the direct handiwork of the state government of Manipur," KSO and ANSAM leaders said today.

"The anomalies in the process of conducting census operation in some tribal villages under Churachandpur district despite objections raised by the concern effected villagers is a direct challenge to the existence of tribal in their own land since time immemorial.

It is a matter of concern for the tribal at large to learn that, inspite of the formulated instructions of Census Village Code and Enumerator Block, enumerators from the valley districts continues to conduct census operation in many villages of Churachandpur district.

As a result, some of these overlapping villages have been reportedly included in the valley districts without the free, prior and informed consent of the concerned villages in the hills.

This has been done intentionally after the matter was officially brought before the notice of the State Government of Manipur at different levels.

We, therefore, strongly question the interest and motive of the state government for attempting to assimilate the tribals and their lands through census exercises," the two tribal students' organisations said.

ANSAM and KSO then said that they fully extend their solidarity to the ongoing agitation launched by Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas in Manipur (COPTAM) against the state government of Manipur (COPTAM) in the issue.

The two students' bodies then call upon all the right thinking tribal citizens to come forward and unitedly stand together to defend and safeguard the inherent rights of the tribal our people and their lands.

"It is our resolute stand that we would not remain silent spectators if the state government continues to infringe upon the interest and mutual co-existence of the tribal communities," ANSAM and KSO affirmed.