ATSUM fumes over govt act of `tyranny`

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IMPHAL, November 17 (NNN): Irked by the registration of a case against it with the Tamenglong police station, All Tribal Students Union, Manipur (ATSUM) has fumed that the move of the state government is nothing but an act of tyranny.

An FIR has been registered against ATSUM (Tombing) for the alleged threat to workers engaged in the construction of railway line in Tamenglong district.

ATSUM under the `leadership` of its president Muan Tombing is in its second phase agitation under the code name `Reckoning of the Other` (ROTO) from midnight of November 11 banning all the national projects in Manipur including the ongoing railway line construction in Tamenglong district.

“We did not resort to any violent activity nor did we assault any worker. Why a case against us?” asked Muan Tombing, the president of ATSUM. He said the student body is resorting to a democratic mode of agitation after having found no option to protect the tribal peoples` rights enshrined in the Constitution of India. “We are not demanding what is not ours. We are demanding our rights granted by the Constitution of India,” stated Tombing. The ATSUM chief then terms the registration of a case against it as `unfortunate.”

ATSUM`s demands are that the condition of educational atmosphere in the hill districts is improved by appontmenting or recruitmenting adequate teaching and non-teaching staff and necessary infrastructure for schools in the hill areas. In this regard, ATSUM also demands for the setting up of B. ed centres in the hill districts. It then demanded for the early solution to the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) crises.

Another demand of ATSUM is the improvement of healthcare in the hill districts by makeing all PHSC, PHC, CHC and DHC functional. It demanded that proper equipments with required specislist doctors and nurses in the district hospitals of the hills be posted.

One prime demand of ATSUM has been to establish a separate state Commission for Scheduled Tribe (ST) in Manipur.

ATSUM also said ST reservation norms as per the latest roster be adhered.

It further demanded for encouraging equitable development through special economic package for the hill areas of Manipur.

Effective governance of the hill areas also another key demand of the tribal student body.

According to ATSUM, to have effective governance there are certain areas that should be revamped.  

Securing the proper functioning of the Hill Area Committee (HAC) and requiring the Governor of Manipur to discharge his special responsibilities under 371-C  of the Constitution on India is one area. To bring the present Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in Manipur at par with other ADCs in the North-Eastern states of India is also one of the areas.

ATSUM also said re-organisation (Delimitation) of assembly seats on the basis of the latest population census and sharing 30/30 seats between the hills and the valley is one area that should be done for the effective governance.

Lastly, ATSUM demands for the protection of tribal rights on land and natural resources.

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