Tribal bandh deferred to Dec 15

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    IMPHAL, Dec 5 (NNN): Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas, Manipur (CoPTAM)`s proposed Manipur bandh of December 7 has been postponed to December 15.
    According to CoPTAM leader Thangkam Lupheng, owing to appeal from various organisations to postpone the proposed bandh in view of the Orange Festival, Hmar Gospel Centenery Celebration, Kuki Baptist Churches Youth Assembly  and Manipur Catholic Congress, the 60-hour hill districts of Manipur bandh which was slated to begin from 5 pm of December 7, has been postponed to 5 pm of December 15.
    It is pertinent to note that CoPTAM had announced to start the agitation in protest against the alleged Manipur Government`s relentless indifference to the plights of the tribal population in Manipur, the tribal rights group.
    Condemning the government on the policy it pursues in “exploiting the tribals and alienating” their rights by conducting the “controversial overlapping census”, the tribal rights body alleged that, “overlapping census is a result of revenue collection in some parts of hill districts whose land records are maintained by the valley districts giving rise to overlapping of district boundaries i.e. distorting the original boundaries.”   CoPTAM demanded for the transfer of land records and restoration of original district boundaries, so also the rolling back of the proposed redrawing of Jiribam district which is set to affect some parts of Churachandpur and Tamenglong districts.
    It highlighted the anxiety caused by the recent government plan to impose urbanization in Moreh, an Indo-Myanmar border town, against the interest of majority local tribals, and the random deduction of tribal population to 17 percent in the current census operation.
    The State government is planning to establish Indian Reserve Battalion and commando post near Vangai and further attempting  to rehabilitate cadres of valley underground outfit, KCP (Lallumba) faction at Leikun in Chandel district against the interest of the indigenous tribals, it said. “Compromising our ancestral land tantamount to compromising our people and future,” CoPTAM took a dig at the sanctity of the cry of State’s integrity saying, “CoPTAM respected State integrity but the mere proclamation of State integrity without moral integrity of the people is meaningless.”
    The tribal body appealed for support from non-tribal organizations, NGOs, and peace and just loving individuals in their demand for just and respectable settlement of tribal land rights and not to pre-empt by giving it a communal hue.
     

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