Memorandum submitted to His Excellency, President of India by the United Naga Council

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MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO SHRI PRANAB MUKHERJEE,
HIS EXCELLENCY, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA.
DATED IMPHAL, APRIL 15, 2013

Subject: DEMAND FOR ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENT OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT OF MANIPUR.
Your Excellency,
While warmly welcoming your august visit to the State, the United Naga Council (UNC) wish to avail of this opportunity to make the following submission for your serious consideration.

We are much concern that even after fifteen long years of cease-fire and negotiation, amidst assurance of an early solution, an honourable settlement of the Indo-Naga issue has not taken place till date. We urge your exalted office for expeditious settlement of the Indo-Naga issue.

It may also kindly be noted that the Nagas in Manipur, under the aegis of the UNC had submitted a memorandum on the captioned demand to the Government of India through the Hon’ble Union Home Minister on the 14th of September, 2010 at Delhi. Acting on the said memorandum, the Hon’ble Home Minister had initiated the democratic process of dialogue through the tripartite talk of the GoI, the Government of Manipur(GoM) and the UNC and there has already been 5 rounds of talks. Apart from being subjected to the convenience of the GoM, the tripartite talks have been limited to the technicality of centre and state relationship/jurisdiction and on the development initiatives of the Government of Manipur for the tribals areas in the State of Manipur. The issue is not about development deficit or bringing improvement in the existing system. Our considered view is that development will not and cannot happen in the tribal areas unless an alternative arrangement outside the existing system of the GoM is put in place. The core issue of the demand for alternative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur outside the Government of Manipur pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue is not being addressed in the dialogue process.

The above position of demand is premised on the sharp social divide on communal lines in the present state of Manipur, which the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India had noted with concern in the 40th conference of DGPs on 26th August, 2010. This social divide is not a recent development but was inherent in the construction of the present state of Manipur and even prior to the merger of Manipur to the Indian Union. It was vitiated by decades of suppression, subjugation and hegemonic domination of the Nagas and tribals by the communal Government of Manipur. The impossible conditions in which Nagas and tribals exist under the Communal Government of Manipur, unable to live with dignity and honour and have their land, traditional institutions, culture and way of life protected is the core issue. Through use of state forces and sanctions obtained with brute majority the rights of the Nagas and the tribals in Manipur are being surely and irredeemably taken away.

Our genuine demands for an alternative political and administrative arrangement is being objected and subjected to the interest of the communal Government of Manipur, which is informed and determined by the brute majority of 40 representatives from the Imphal valley in a total house of 60.
It is our contention that if the GoI is serious and sincere in ensuring that the Nagas and tribals in Manipur should live with respect for their dignity, their rights to their land, traditional institutions, culture and way of life and not as second class citizens, it is imperative for the GoI to intervene with an alternative arrangement. Should the GoI plead helplessness citing the technicality of centre state relationship, then it condemns the Nagas and the tribals to continued deprivation and suppression and GoI becomes the knowing and willing abettor of the injustices to which we have been subjected to.

We enclose hereto copies of 3(three) documents, 2 of which are Press Statements and the third one a memorandum submitted to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat by the UNC as references on the Naga and tribal situation in the State of Manipur.

In the prevailing situation, we also draw your kind attention to the grave potential for communal confrontations and violence which could flare up at the slightest provocations, intentional or perceived as such by any community.

We, therefore solicit your personal initiative for the Union Government’s intervention with an alternative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur at the earliest.
Yours faithfully,

(L. ADANI) (GAIDON KAMEI)
President General Secretary

Enclosed :

1. Press Statement issued by the Publicity Wing, UNC dated 23rd October, 2011 on the Manipur Land Reforms and Land Revenue Act (MLR & LR Act) 1960.

2. Memorandum dated 9th April, 2013 submitted to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat on Readjustment of Representations of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Bill, 2013

3. Press Statement issued by the Publicity Wing, UNC dated 13th April, 2013 on the captivity of Ms Alice Kamei, a fourteen year old Zeliangrong tribal girl by the People’s Liberation Army.

PRESS STATEMENT
DATED TAHAMZAM, 23RD OCTOBER, 2011

The public meeting on the Manipur Land Reforms and Land Revenue Act (MLR & LR Act) at Imphal on the 22nd October, 2011 totally ignored the historical fact concerning the Nagas and tribals in Manipur. The Nagas and the tribals in the present state of Manipur were independent of the Manipur Maharaja. A dual system of administration for the Hills and the Valley came into existence after the British annexed the Meitei kingdom of Manipur in 1891. This system continued even after 1949 when the Meitei kingdom was merged with the Indian Union along with the hill areas, without the knowledge and consent of the Nagas and other tribal people. The indisputable separateness between the Nagas/tribals in Manipur and the people from Manipur Valley was recognized even then. Article 371Cof the Indian Constitution also provides for protection of the rights and interest for the tribals in Manipur.
The separate Manipur Land Reforms and Land Revenue Act (MLR & LR Act) was passed by the Indian Parliament in 1960 and was made applicable only to the valley area of Manipur. This is a logical extension of the historical position of the Hills vis-a-vis the Plains and protects the tribals from land alienation.
The discussion at Imphal smacks of utter disrespect for the Tribals and their separate identity and is symbolises the arrogance and domineering attitude of the majority Meitei community. The discussion recorded that the hill people do not hold any document of land holding and that the Chief/Khullakpas can simply claim ownership over hill ranges of their localities. Subtle and condescending arguments are all being presented towards legitimizing the usurpation of the land of the tribals. The discourse in greater Imphal is about land grabbing, about upgradation/creation of new revenue districts, about intrusion into the land of the tribals.
As already brought out into the public domain, every Naga village and tribe have their own distinct territorial boundary and jurisdiction. The tribals have their own way of life. To them the land and the people cannot be parted as their culture, tradition and identity are interwoven with the land.
The meeting which was telecast on the local channel saw the UCM president suggesting bloodshed and one Ranendrajit mention the possibility of a civil war in Manipur if the MLR&LR Act is not extended to the hills. The threat is clearly directed to the tribals in absentia. This is a wake up call for the tribals in Manipur. It is being put on record that the concern individuals and their organizations would be held solely responsible for any untoward incident arising out of their instigation and threats.

Publicity Cell
United Naga Council

9 April, 2013
Shri Ashok K. Sahoo
Joint Director, Rajya Sabha Secretariat
222, Second Floor,
Parliament House Annexe
New Delhi – 110001

Dear Sir

Readjustment of Representations of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies Bill, 2013 – Memorandum thereof

The United Naga Council is the apex tribe based organisation of the Nagas in Manipur with 16 constituent tribes. We are currently engaged in a tripartite talk with the Government of India and the Government of Manipur on our demand for an alternative arrangement outside the communal government of Manipur.

On behalf of our constituents we are making the following submission for the consideration of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice on the captioned matter.

The tribal areas in Manipur consisting of 5 districts viz. Senapati, Tamenglong, Churachandpur, Chandel and Ukhrul is 20,089 sq km constituting 90% of the state’s total of 22,327 sq. Km. As per the 2001 census, tribal population was 9,83,074 making up for 41% of the state’s total of 23,88,634. The tribals have only 20 representatives in the house of 60. Each tribal MLAs represents a population of 49,154 and about 1004.5 sq km on an average. On the other hand, Imphal valley consisting of the remaining 4 districts viz. Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishnupur has an area of just 2,238 sq km i.e. 10% of the state’s total area and has a population of 14,05,560, i.e. 59% of the State’s total. The 4 Imphal valley district has 40 MLAs who represents just 35,139 population and 55.9 sq km area on an average.

Based on the population figure of Census 2001, the number of 40 MLAs which represented the 4 valley districts had to be sliced down to 35 MLAs. Whereas, the hill areas represented by only 20 MLAs were to gain 5 Assembly constituencies as per the guidelines for the Delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies. This possibility was a threat to the existing Meitei-tribal equation and so the communal Government of Manipur vide its cabinet decision of 18.9.2003 decided to go for re-census in some sub-divisions of the hill districts. This decision was taken even though the Statistical Handbook of Manipur 2002 published by the State Government had incorporated the same accepted figures and the Manipur State Assembly election held in February 2002 was held based on the population figure of 2001 Census report. The State Cabinet of the communal Government of Manipur and all Imphal valley based Political Parties in the State moved for maintaining status quo of the existing Assembly constituencies in the state.

The State Government without any authority arbitrarily revised the Census 2001 pursuant to the Cabinet decision of 18.9.2003 and deleted 2, 21, 848 citizens, who were overwhelmingly from the tribal population from the census by reducing the total population of the Manipur from 23,38,634 as per census 2001 to 21,66,788. This was done to ensure that tribal representation in the state assembly is not duly increased.

In view of the above, it is our submission that the readjustment of Representations of and Scheduled Tribes in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies should not be based on the arbitrary revised census population figure engineered by the Communal Government of Manipur but on the actual population census that was carried out for 2001 as per schedule.

As scheduled tribes under the Union of India, our constitutional rights to be represented in proportion to the total population of the state and to be counted as citizens of the Union must be recognised and respected while carrying out the readjustment of representation. Unconstitutional and arbitrary decision in this very fundamental issue will only result in loss of faith in the Union of India in safeguarding the constitutional rights of the tribals.

Yours faithfully

( L. ADANI )
President

E.mail ID : [email protected]
Mobile No: 09436002124.

PRESS STATEMENT
Dated Tahamzam, 13th April, 2013

Ms. Alice Kamei of Chingphu Zeliangrong village, a Class –IX student of Grace Reach Academy, Hiyanglam, Thoubal District, Manipur has been in the custody of the Revolutionary Peoples Front/Peoples Liberation Army(RPF/PLA) since 10th March, 2013. Ms. Alice is only 14 years old and should be in school under the guardianship of her parents. Naga Organisations have registered their protest in peaceful and democratic manner both in the media and in public places, demanding the safe release of Ms. Alice Kamei. Her continued captivity for more than one month by the RPF/PLA is against both natural law and established international norms. It is an utter disrespect for the institutions of family and an assault on the innocence of childhood.

Compare this with the flare up in Imphal valley in the wake of the reported incident of the manhandling of Ms. Momoko by a cadre of the NSCN(IM) at Chandel on 18 December, 2012, where the Nagas and tribals were targeted in well orchestrated moves. Within this episode, 13 students from Risophung village under Senapati District were waylaid by cadres of Kangleipak Communist Party at Napetpali on 24th December, 2012 and physically assaulted and a sixteen year old girl in the group was molested and rape attempted upon her. Not to be outdone by the KCP, 2 villagers of Kongkan village, under Kamjong Sub-division, Ukhrul District, who were returning to their village after a hunting trip were gunned down on 28th December, 2012 intentionally by the United National Liberation Front, another valley based militant group in front of a witness who survived the ordeal. The Cabinet of the communal State Government of Manipur had 3 meetings on the Momoko issue which resulted in a big delegation of valley based political parties to Delhi.

The level and sense of the offence perceived and taken in the Alice Kamei and Momoko episode are markedly communal in difference. The communal response of the State Government and the non state forces in the Imphal valley have offered further vindications for the demand of the Nagas in Manipur for an alternative arrangement outside the Government of Manipur, pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue.

The blatant communal omissions and commissions of the Manipur State Government and the non-state valley forces in collusion on all fronts is steering away the situation from the peaceful parting of ways. The Government of India must intervene immediately with an alternative arrangement for it cannot abdicate its responsibility as the custodian of the Constitution. Nagas and tribals must be in continued preparedness. Our homes and families and our land must be defended at all cost. Ms. Alice Kamei must be safely released to her parents and her people without any delay.

Publicity Wing
United Naga Council

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