ATSUM suspends ROTO agitation

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IMPHAL, November 25(NNN): The Muan Tombing group of All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM-T) has suspended its agitations which was going on under the code name ROTO (Reckoning of the Other) that started from the midnight of November 11.

As a part of the agitation, the student body was banning national projects in the hills and against government offices since November 19, 2013. The agitations have been suspended after successful talks between the state government and the tribal student body, in which the government responded positively to the demands made by ATSUM (T).

ATSUM`s demands are that the condition of educational atmosphere in the hill districts is improved by appointment or recruiting 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 BEd 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 making all PHSC, PHC, CHC and DHC functional. It demanded that proper equipments with required specialist 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.

ATSUM also demands for the protection of tribal rights on land and natural resource.

Meanwhile, during the talks today, the state government has agreed to implement to the ATSUM-T`s demands by promising to regularize the lecturers serving as contract teachers in the hills. Regarding this, the government has directed all concerned ZEOs in hill districts to meet the Principal Secretary Dr. Suresh Babu along with the documents in 2-3 days time. The government has also assured that a tribal Manipur Civil Service (MCS) officer will be posted as Additional Director (Hills), Education. The shortage of a qualified ZEO in the hill districts will be fulfilled by posting one in each hill district within a week.

The shortage of doctors and medical helps will be supplied in the hill districts within November, 2013 which will remove the backlog faced by the hospitals. To ease the problems of tribals in Manipur, the government will allocate a separate State Commission for Scheduled Tribe (ST) within three months. The government has also promised to fill up the backlog posts in every department of the state by conducting a special recruitment drive for ST which will help in reducing unemployment.

The government’s order for deletion of Additional English in lieu of MIL for unrecognized tribes in the new scheme of study in Class IX from academic session 2014-2015 and in next year under Board of School Education, Manipur (BOSEM) has been withheld for consideration, said ATSUM-T.

Today`s meeting was held at the chief minister’s bungalow in the presence of chief minister O Ibobi, deputy chief minister Gaikhangam, health minister Phungzathang Tonsing, minister for sericulture and Industries Govindas Konthoujam, MLA Yamthong Haokip and officials.

About 22 ATSUM-T members participated in today`s meeting led by its president Muan Tombing and general secretary Vareiyo Shatsang which started at 12:30 pm and went on for 4 hours.

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