UNLF claims surrenderees as deserters

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IMPHAL, March 26: The UNLF in a press release by the outfit’s senior publicity officer Ksh Yoiheiba stated that the UNLF/MPA cadres who surrendered before the DGP and IGAR (S) are deserters.

Two ex-cadres namely Yensembam Manimatum of Keirao Lairenbi Leikai, army number 2037 and Gurumayum Lamkhaiba of Kwakeithel Thokchom Leikai, army number 2121 are deserters from the UNLF and they took no weapons with them.

During the surrender ceremony both ex cadres surrendered 2 handguns which are also not of the UNLF/MPA,the outfit states that since the duo have given in to the false pretenses of the Indian occupational forces and have become traitors to the cause,the families of the surrendered duo must fork out the cost of the weapons seemingly deposited by them to the security forces which they owned as belonging to the outfit, the release further states that such persons who are a blot in the revolutionary cause will be awarded befitting punishment.

ATSUM calls off 5-day economic blockade following government appeal
Imphal, March 26 (NNN): All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) has today called off the ongoing 5-day economic blockade following fervent appeal by the state government of Manipur and a meeting with the chief minister to hammer out an agreement with the tribal body. The meeting has however failed to resolve the bone of contention between the two parties with the possibility of another such meeting in the near future.

The decision to enforce 5-day economic blockade was taken on March 14 in a meeting of presidential council of ATSUM that stipulated that a 5-day economic blockade will be imposed on all national and state highways of the State from midnight March 23 till midnight March 28 next which is extendable indefinitely if the demands of the Union are not met by this time.

A ten-member delegation has met the chief minister today at the invitation of the latter to explore a possible settlement to the long drawn grievances of the tribal population, informed Thomas Taishya, president ATSUM.

He lamented that the two-hour long meeting could not yield the desired outcome as was anticipated by the delegation. “Despite the assurances given by the government to the visiting delegation on the demands raised by it, the result is still awaited.”

On the demand for the reprocessing of hundred point roster systems, the government has quoted legal complication, he said, while on the issue of executive director of DRDA the government attempts to buy time while insisting on running its directive for a period of 5 months on a trial basis.

The delegation also demanded for the immediate cancellation of the appointment of senior Manipur Civil Services (MCS) to the post of DRDA executive, but the decision remained inconclusive, he said.

The recruitment of SOs in MSSRDA on contract basis would remain un-extendable after the lapse of the first one year from the date of appointment; the delegation has been assured by the government.

ATSUM has also been assured by the government that the extension of the services of contract basis teachers in the hill districts would be considered on need basis after thorough investigation of the need based schools in the hill districts.

While it has also been agreed to by the government that the recruitment of two house committee officers in Manipur legislative assembly would be done at the earliest possible opportunity, the regularization process of junior engineer in MPHC would be reviewed to incorporate tribal candidates, said Thomas Taishya.

“The visiting delegation took serious heed of the fervent appeal of the government to call off its agitation in order that positive mood will prevail for the resolution of the pending issues” he said.

Significantly, ATSUM has been demanding rectification on issues like inadvertent evading of the Rules of the Manipur Reservation of Vacancies in Post and Service (for SC and ST) Act, 2007 and its objection to 200 point roster as against the earlier 100 points. Extension of the service of contract basis teachers in the hill districts for one academic year, discrimination of STs in the promotion of Leading Firemen, the issue of chief engineer in Public Health Education Department (PHED) etc.

It has also been demanding for the revocation of the State cabinet decision of posting senior Manipur Civil Service officer as executive director of DRDA without due consultation with Hill Areas Committee of the State assembly. It has termed the cabinet decision as devoid of any “rationality and justification” and has demanded for reverting back to the earlier way wherein the concerned deputy commissioner of the district was the executive director as prescribed under the Central guidelines.

The recruitment of SOs in MSRRDA of RD & PR department in total contravention to the convention practiced by the State government regarding reservation is not acceptable to the tribal people, it has been saying while demanding that either the posts are filled with due representation of the tribals or terminate the whole process and recruit new SOs with proper representation.

On issues such as recruitment and promotion of under secretary and committee officers in the Manipur assembly secretariat, staffs in engineering cell of the department of school education and in the promotion of leading firemen to SO under fire services, ATSUM had alleged that these recruitments and promotions are done against the State’s reservation norms and guidelines and has demanded cancellation or rectification with due representation of the tribals. The non accomplishment of reservation rules is construed as an insult to the Act as well as to the deserving communities in question, it had said.
The Union had also sought explanation from the government on the painfully slow progress of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University in the State and has asked for the expedition of the process.

The Union had also imposed closure of government institutions in all the hill districts of Manipur. It had asked all the deputy commissioners in the hill districts and senior Manipur Civil Service (MCS) officers who are posted as executive director of DRDA to refrain from taking charge of the offices and not to hurt the already wounded sentiments of the tribal peoples.

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