Tribal bodies to intensify anti-Bills movement

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SENAPATI, May 25: Tribal organisations campaigning against the “anti-tribal Bills” in Manipur are likely to intensify their movement in the next few days. United Naga Council (UNC) president Gaidon Kamei when contacted by Newmai News Network disclosed that they are closely observing the steps of the State Government and the ongoing agitation in the valley under the aegis of Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS).
“We are all prepared to take up any democratic measures and any day we may begin,” said the UNC chief and added “we are ready for intense movement in collaboration with other tribal organisations under the banner of the Joint Action Committee Against the Anti-Tribal Bills”.
Meanwhile, a separate source said the tribal organisations may resort to indefinite agitation any day.
Nine protesters lost their lives when security forces tried to control violent protests that erupted in Churachandpur following the passing of the three ILP Bills on August 31 last year. The tribal people say the Bills impinge upon their rights and hence they should be withdrawn.
Earlier the JAC expressed that to the tribal people of Manipur, the three ‘anti-tribal’ Bills which “infringe” on tribal identity, land rights and economy are only a new chapter in Manipur Government’s intrinsic policy of cultural alienation, political marginalization & developmental exclusion of the tribals, a well-thought out State policy of modern-day political conquest and annexation having absolutely nothing to do with the Inner Line Permit System.
In fact, as the names themselves suggest, the withdrawn Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tenants and Migrant Workers Bill, 2015 and the proposed Manipur Unorganized Workers (Control of Infiltration) Bill, 2016 seem to be more in line with the Inner Line Permit System than all the three “anti-tribal Bills” combined.
It also expressed that “having totally lost faith” in Manipur Government’s commitment and ability to bring about any acceptable solution, and with the anticipation of many similar ‘anti-tribal’ Bills from the State Government in future, “the growing sentiments among the tribal people now is that of mistrust and total disregard for the State Government which further nourishes the tribal aspiration for separation of tribal territories from the control of Manipur Government, which is also increasingly seen as the only viable solution”.
The JAC said that it is dismayed to learn that “Constitutional rights of the Manipur tribals as enshrined in Clause 2 of Article 371C – that the Governor shall annually, or whenever so required by the President make a report to the President regarding the administration of the Hill Areas of the State of Manipur and the executive power of the Union shall extend to the giving of directions to the State as to the administration of the Hill Areas – has not been executed for many years now, as evident from the answers given by Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs to unstarred question no. 1528 posed by Jitendra Chaudhury, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) during the current Lok Sabha Parliament session on May 3, 2016 regarding the administration of the Hill Areas of Manipur”.

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