ATSUM bandh divide widens – KSO says “illegitimate body” cannot handle issue

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IMPHAL, Jan 17 (Newmai News Network):  The Kuki Students Organisation, General Headquarters (KSO-GhQs) has said today that it will not endorse the proposed 24 hours bandh of the All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM).
ATSUM had threatened to impose a Manipur bandh on January 19. The stance of KSO-GHQs has come in line with the Senapati District Students Association (SDSA) and Naga Students Union Chandel (NSUC).
“The ensuing plan for imposition of 24 hours bandh by some people in the name of ATSUM will not be supported in any way by KSO. The KSO had reiterated its stance clearly on the formation of this illegitimate body before and therefore cannot be a party,” the apex Kuki students’ organization said today.
The KSO-GHQs then said the ‘on hand issues’ which are promoted by the self appointed ATSUM now are not new to the KSO. These issues have been taken up vigorously by ATSUM and its affiliated bodies during the previous term, the Kuki students’ body added. It then said the KSO accepts and endorses these genuine issues in the interest of the tribal people in the state. “But these ‘legitimate issues’ cannot be handled by an ‘illegitimate body’ formed in the guise of ATSUM by some self style leaders. As such the Government of Manipur is advised not to discuss these matters with this ‘pseudo’ ATSUM but should instead have consultation with the rightful bodies such as the four-member ATSUM interim body or with the joint leadership of KSO, ANSAM, SDSA and NSUC, and others who are well versed and familiar with these pending tribal issues,” the KSO-GHQs stated.
This 24 hours bandh claimed to be endorsed by Churachandpur District Students Union (CDSU) is ridiculous, said the KSO. It said there is no CDSU at the moment as the CDSU that the people know of, has been disbanded three months ago, the KSO pointed out. The bandh supporters are advised to stop before they make themselves a laughing stock in the eyes of the tribal people of the state. Everybody is aware that the bandh being called is just a gimmick by the self appointed ATSUM leadership who has no interests but their own selfish agendas on the line, the KSO further stated.
The KSO also advises the 4-member ATSUM interim body to call an election so that ATSUM can be reinstated to its former self. “For this, the interim body has the unwavering support of KSO, All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM), SDSA, NSUC and other cognate tribal students’ bodies. The interim body also has the mandate of the much respected founding member of ATSUM and all its former president and secretaries,” the KSO said.
“To conclude, it should be known to all that the 24 hours bandh called by the self appointed ATSUM leaders is not supported by the KSO and other cognate tribes student bodies and the Government of Manipur is advised to address these issues in consultation only with the rightful body ie, the 4-member ATSUM Interim body. Discussion of tribal issues without the participation of KSO and ANSAM will be just a wasted effort,” the apex Kuki students’ body stated.

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