More tribal bodies press demand for vending spaces at Khwairamband market

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IMPHAL, Nov 1: Many tribal bodies decried the failure of the state government to allot seats for the tribal women in the newly reconstructed women market at Kwairamband Bazar.

To mount pressure on the government in this connection and in support of the demand recently raised by the Kabui Mothers’ Association (KAMA), a mass sit in protest demonstration will be convened at the ZU office Paona Bazaar Imphal by various Zeliangrong local bodies tomorrow.

Local bodies which included the Namguilong Youth Club, Namguilong Mathenmei, Minuthong Khunou (Namdunlong) Women Society, Ramji Youths’ Club, Gaipuinam Womens’ Society Dewlahland Stadium Road, Ramji Women Welfare Association Sagolband, in separate press statements pledge their support to the Kabui Mothers’ Association Manipur.

It may be recalled that the KAMA had sent a representation on October 25 to the Chief Minister of Manipur demanding allotment of two hundred vendor seats only out of the four thousand to be accommodated in the newly constructed multi storied building of the three Khwiaramband market sheds which are to be inaugurated soon.

The KAMA stated that the allocation is for the Kabui (Zeliangrong) community which is the second largest community in the state.

While stating that the matter had already been apprised to the Chief Minister, the KAMA has also warned of calling a general strike on the day AICC chief Sonia Gandhi visit the state if state government failed to initiate action to allocate seat for the Kabui community at the three Khwairamband market.

At the same time the Movement for Tribal People’s Rights Manipur (MTPRM) has also denounced the action of the government of not allotting a single seat for tribal women in the newly reconstructed women’s market consisting of three building complexes at Khwairamband Bazaar.

A statement of the MTPRM said the market complex is not constructed to be accommodated to a single community, therefore, in this connection the MTPRM on December 21, 2009 under the R.R No. 525 submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister, who is also the concern minister requesting allocation of necessary vendor seats for the tribal women but till date the State Government have failed to take any decision in this regards.

The statement further said that there is not a single seat lying vacant now in the newly constructed market complexes although no officials allotment of seat was made. It is also not known on what procedure the allotment was made as it is not informed to the people, the seat allotment was done purely on pick and chose basis for those who are close to the people in power, it charged adding it will be as good to name the market after the community who will be occupying the market compexes if it is to be accommodated by a single community further opined the release.

The release noted that the total population of Manipur is as per 2001 census is 23,88,634 out of which tribal population of the hill districts of the state constitute 9,83,074 excluding those many tribal villages located in the valley districts of Thoubal, Imphal East, Bishnupur and Imphal West, therefore, putting together the total tribal population of Manipur will be more than 11 lakhs. On the other hand there are non tribal communities such as Nepalis, Biharis, Muslims, Bengalis, Meitei etc which constitute the population of Manipur.

It has also added that the failure of the state government to allocate a single vendor seat at any of the three markets to the tribal women is nothing less than discrimination and segregation on the line of religion or caste besides it will amount to severing of ties with the tribal people.

It appealed the state government to reason the matter seriously in the interest of all communities inhabiting in the state.

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