Chakka bandh cripples life in hill districts
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, July 13 2010: Normal life in Naga dominated four hill districts of Manipur was grinding halt Tuesday, on the first of commencement of the 72-hour Chakka bandh, vehicle were off the road.

Meanwhile, reacting to the contains in the sixth para of the news item "Police asked to alert as ANSAM's 72-hr Chakka Bandh starts" related with the demand of the body, ANSAM's information and publicity secretary today clarified that the students' body had not demanded the extension of 6th schedule.

Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition) regretted the error while inserting the demands of the body.

The ANSAM sponsored 72-hour chakka bandh in the Naga inhabitant areas of Manipur commenced from 6 pm Monday.

It will be lasted till 6 pm of July 15 .

The bandh affected normal life in Senapati, Tamenglong, Chandel and Ukhrul districts as all kinds of commercial vehicles including inter-state buses arrived at the respective district headquarters.

Traffic along the NH-53 and 39 was total halt as no vehicles proceeded from Jiribam and Mao gate for Imphal.

No vehicle left Imphal on both the highways except two oil tankers crossing New Keithel police check post on the NH-53, according to police reports.

Reports culled out from various sources in four districts said that main roads and streets wore deserted look as all kinds of vehicles including two wheelers and light vehicles were off the road.

No untoward incident reported anywhere so far.

Police in all the polling stations have already put on alert as members of the ANSAM are likely to resort in violent activities like burning and damaging of government properties during the bandh hour.

ANSAM called the bandh demanding review of the present status of legislation with reference to the Manipur (Hill areas) District Council Act, 1971 which was amended in 2008 and revocation of arrest warrant issued by the government against its president, David Choro and president of UNC, Samson.

Newmai News Network added that the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) has clarified in Senapati today that they are 'not' demanding the Sixth Schedule as reported by some media.

ANSAM says that since the Naga people have decided to sever ties with the government of Manipur, the room for demanding the Sixth Schedule does not arise, it reported.

"In view of the different views interpreted and presented by media from the statement given prior to the ongoing 72 hours chakka bandh, ANSAM reiterates that Naga people have already rejected the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (3rd Amendment) Act 2008, and subsequently declared the ADC elections, which was conducted under this Act, which is declared 'null and void'.

Further, the Naga people under the leadership of United Naga Council (UNC) have made loud and clear that we have severed all ties with the communal government of Manipur.

Therefore, the question of the demand for the Sixth Schedule, as reported in some media, does not arise here.

The background of tribal on 6th Schedule referred in our earlier statement as mentioned was only a reflection of how tribals in Manipur state have been repeatedly suppressed and denied of their inherent rights throughout successive state government during the past many years.

As such, terming the ongoing agitation as a movement of demanding the Sixth Schedule, despite instant clarification, is viewed as an attempt to malign the image of ANSAM thereby diluting and deviate the main issue.

Yet we would rather be steadfast in our commitment to work for alternative arrangement as desired and decided by the Naga people," the Naga students' body is quoted as clarifies.

NNN further reported that the ongoing agitation has been launched in protest against the 'ill attitude' of the State government of Manipur by issuing arrest warrant against the Naga leaders with wanted tags on their heads in response to their role of defending and securing the rights of the people, said the ANSAM.

"The current protest is also in protest against the continued militarization of Naga areas, in the guise of maintaining law and order, which otherwise are quite peaceful and secured," it added.

The ANSAM then said that imposition of District Council elections and attempting to make District Councils functional in Naga areas against the interest of Naga people have prompted the Naga students to impose the three-day 'chakka bandh' in Naga areas.

While appreciating the understanding and co-operation extended by the public during the last 24 hours ANSAM once again appeals to all concern to restrain from travelling in vehicles during the stipulated time of chaka bandh, failing which they said they will not be responsible for any untoward incident.