COPTAM says govt policy anti-tribal

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From M Kaimuanthang
Lamka, Sep 20: The Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas, Manipur, COPTAM, has again reacted sharply to the imposition of fixed decadal population growth and the subsequent steps taken by the district administration to reduce the population by deleting some people of the district from the Census records.
According to the COPTAM such acts on the part of the government is another facet of its anti tribal policy which is unlawful, unconstitutional and atrocious by its very nature, it said.
The government and its administrative machinery go against the rights of citizens grossly violating the confidentiality of census records.
The state government while not bothering with the 15 percent negative growth in Thanlon sub-division treated as abnormal growth the 40 percent positive growth in Churachandpur sub-division, according to  a source from the COPTAM.
If the goverenment of India accepts the decadal growth rate Delhi is 47.01 percent, Chandigarh 40.34 percent, Nagaland 64.46 percent and Meghalaya  30.65 percent between 1991-2001. There is no reason why 40 percent growth in Churachandpur should be unacceptable to the state goverenment, said COPTAM in a press statement.
It further said the increase in Churachandpur sub division compensated the total losses in other subdivision as the overall district population growth still remains at 29.34 percent only.
Moreover, the decadal growth rate in Churachandpur district has been declining from 57.18 percent (196-71) to 29.35 percent ( 1991-2001) and is destined to stabilise at 29.34 percent in 2001-11 ( a 0.01 change in 10 years) the COPTAM stated questioning what compelled the SPF governement to dictate tribal population growth rate, directly involved in census operation.
The anti-tribal policy of the SPF government in censsus operation, district boundary and in maintaining land records has been clearly exposed, said the COPTAM noting that this is simply one aspect of the symptoms besetting the tribals and their rights for ages.
Condemning the state government over all this it said it fully supports the CDSU in their protest movement on the unlawful deletion of tribal people from census records.
Further, as a positive response is not made by the government so far on the demands raised by the  COPTAM, it has decided to take up from the 21st September indefinite closure/bandhs of all govt offices, vehicles, activities, programmes and works in hill areas untill amicable settlement is reached with the government on the issue. It urged all the elected tribal MLA`s/ Ministers to publicly declare their stance on the issue while directing all the MDC`s to take up the issue at their respective levels as they have been empowered by the 3rd Amendment Act , 2008.

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