SHDDC urges for `Un-administered Region of Manipur` tag if no districthood

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IMPHAL, November 23: The Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) has submitted a representation to Kishore Chandra Deo V, Union minister of tribal affairs & panchayati raj, urging to repeal the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Act 1971 in case the government of Manipur fails again to grant full fledge status to Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council, and declare Sadar Hills Areas as ‘Un-administered Region of Manipur’.

The representation has further urged the Union minister to give strong instruction to the state government to inaugurate Sadar Hills as a full-fledged Autonomous District before the end of November 2011.

It has also recalled that the Sadar Hills Autonomous   District   Council   is   created   under the provision of `Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Act 1971, (Parliament Act No. 76 of 1971, 26 December 1971)`. the said Act is implemented by Government of Manipur by constituting 6 (six) Autonomous Districts in the Hill Areas of Manipur vide Government of Manipur`s Notification dated February, 14, 1972, issued by then Governor of Manipur through Secretariat, Planning & Development Department.

It asserted that the purpose of the Act is to give all forms of protection; and to give all round development to the `Tribal people` in the `Hill Areas` of Manipur. However, besides denying not only all the paraphernalia provisions, developments could not have taken place as envisaged in the Act due to tactfully holding back election to Sadar Hills District Council for about 20 years, it added.

The `Tribal Areas/Tribal Block` and `Hill Areas` status were already granted to present Sadar Hills areas as per order of the chief commissioner, Manipur Administration, Revenue Branch, on November, 10, 1958 signed by S.C. Bardhan, Secretary (Law & Home) Manipur Administration so as to give protection to tribal people of Sadar Hills as per provision of Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886 as extended to the territory of Manipur, further recalled the SHDDC in the representation.

“It is still sincerely advisable that nothing more or less than District-hood to Sadar Hills be granted. Otherwise, should concerted tribal political movement base on all Constitutional provisions is made; Manipur Government shall then be committing a greater blunder” it stated.

SHDDC will not accept any change of existing boundary of Sadar Hills to the extent to purportedly quash `Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Act 1971`; and implementing the recommendation of `CRA & PDB` before taking the confidence of Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee will not be accepted under any circumstances, it added.

It also reminded that the SHDDC had lifted its agitation and reached an agreement with the state government in the form of an MoU on Oct 31, following the appeal of the Union home minister and his personal assurance to `urge the government of Manipur to act after the report of District Reorganisation Commission (DRC) is given`.

It has further stated that as per the MoU, the government of Manipur has agreed to inaugurate, `at the earliest`, Sadar Hills as a full-fledged Autonomous District as per the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Act 1971 `after the report of CRA & PDB is submitted`, it said.

The term of office of the said Committee on  Reorganisation of Administrative and  Police  District Boundaries  (CRA & PDB),  also known as District Reorganisation Commission (DRC), is only 3 (three) months which will be ended on November 23.

It asserted that the SHDDC’s position on the Committee/Commission has been made clear to the government of Manipur from the initial stage that it should not affect or alter, in any way, the existing boundaries of Sadar Hills.

“Subsequent to the signing of the MoU, we have temporarily suspended all forms of our agitations including economic blockade along national highways till the end of November 2011. We believe that the gesture of ours will enable both the Union and State Governments to prepare ground for the complete implementation of the said 1971 Act in respect of Sadar Hills Autonomous District”, said the SHDDC.

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