Yet another 48-hr hill districts bandh called
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, April 17 2010: A 48-hour Manipur hill districts bandh has been called by the Manipur Tribal Joint Action Committee Against Election Under Unwanted District Council Act (MTJACAEUUDCA) from the midnight of April 19 .

The Committee's chairman G.K Rongmei and its secretary P Samuel Haokip said that this decision was taken in an emergency meeting held today.

The Committee said that functioning of government and private offices including schools and colleges will fall under the purview of the bandh.

The Committee then appeals the political parties and existing social organizations of both the hills and valley to extend their kind co-operation and empathy towards the ongoing issue against the 3rd Amendment Act, 2008 of the District Councils while terming it as imposition on the tribal people by the state government under chief minister O.Ibobi Singh.

The Committee then warns bandh violators with dire consequences.

Justifying the bandh call, the Committee in the meeting expounded that the crux of the matter is that architect lay-out and its set up of the 3rd Amendment Act, 2008, in effect, meant an overall control of powers and authorities to be exercised and vested with the state government and not the District Councils, as supposedly anticipated.

"The notorious 3rd Amendment Act is nothing but an eye-wash to the public in the garb of improvisation on the long discarded Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971, but not without a pre-conceived under estimation on the tribal people of Manipur.

But alas ! This was not to be as the tribal people had opened their eyes long back as early as on July 18, 1990 when the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) passed a resolution of 'no Sixth Schedule, no district council election' ", dwelt the Committe.

It then said that twelve years later in the year 2002 on April 22, the HAC withdrew the same resolution but on the condition of having district council elections as early ad possible with extension of Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India.

Autonomous body without the power of autonomy for framing its rules and regulations, judiciary, customary laws and financial powers is nothing but a placebo.

Autonomy means devolution of power of decentralization of power from the centre to the state government or as the case may be, to the district council, added the Committee.

It also said that for otherwise, autonomy for the namesake of autonomy without power is as good as nothing but a hollow drum.

"Now, with the making of the infamous and deceptive 3rd Amendment Act, 2008, the ulterior motive of the state government is crystal clear and precise about them (government) that they are all set not to give autonomy to the District Councils at any cost.

This is most unfortunate and thoroughly hostile as hostility could be.

From this point of view, there is insufficient reason to know and justify that no part and partial amendments would do any good for the District Council, and more so for the tribal people unless it is in toto, which is enshrined in the constitutional provision, and any lesser than that would not serve our purpose," said the Committee.

According to this Committee, as of the current occurrences in and around the tribal hill areas of Manipur state, lands are being acquired in the name of bringing development, there is hardly and land protection rights in vouch as against the rights given to the tribal people by the constitution, private properties are being encroached or willfully demolished before proper compensational terms are set in order, in the name of white-washing the tribal hill areas for developments which of course includes the railways line construction from Jiri to Imphal.

"Therefore, all such undesired happenings would invite undesired consequences, and for which, the state government would be held untimely responsible for it," cautions the Committee.