OMTF says no to any ‘anti-tribal’ Bills

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IMPHAL, Jul 11:  The tribal people of Manipur would never accept under any circum-stances, if any Bill, which is detrimental to the hill areas and its people, be introduced and passed in the Manipur State Legislative Assembly and it will be considered as further insult and challenge to the tribal people. This was resolved by the Outer Manipur Tribals’ Forum (OMTF) in its meeting held today at Imphal.

The OMTF conveyed its heartfelt gratitude to the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee and the Government of India for “exercising their wisdom” in withholding infamous and “anti-tribal” Bill, viz, the Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill, 2015 passed by the alleged ‘communal’ Manipur Legislative Assembly on Aug 31, 2015.

According to the tribal forum, the continued discrimination and marginalization of the tribals in Manipur have entered a new phase with the passing of the three “Anti-Tribal Bills” on August 31, 2015, “which intended to finally exclude” them from the citizenship of Manipur State particularly and of India in general. The press note of the tribal forum said that to resist such “systematic designs” of the State for institutional exclusion of the tribals, the various apex civil organizations of the hill tribes formed the Outer Manipur Tribals’ Forum (OMTF).

It then expressed its appreciation to the initiatives taken by the Joint Action Committee Against the Anti-Tribal Bills (JAC-AATB) and the Manipur Tribals’ Forum, Delhi (MTFD) in spearheading a movement of Manipur tribals against the State’s encroachment of the tribals’ land, rights and identity.

According to the press note, the OMTF has taken cognizance of the fact that the tribal MLAs who “failed to protect/defend or resign from membership no longer represented and enjoyed the mandate” of tribal peoples, as it has been manifested since the passing of the three “anti-tribals” bills. “As a consequent upon which the JAC, Churachandpur and various tribal organizations have boycotted them for they could not carry out their responsibilities as peoples’ representative both inside and outside the Manipur Legislative Assembly and accordingly the OMTF endorsed the boycott”.

Since the 9 ‘Tribal Martyrs’ are still lying in the mortuary, District Hospital, Churachandpur and the Government of Manipur has been pressing to the Government of India for the President’s assent on the two Bills, viz, Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 and Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015, the OMTF  strongly appealed to all the tribal people to remain alert and not to be misguided by the vested interest persons.

Any individual, representative, Association or Organization who defy this declaration shall be treated as betrayal and also be held responsible at his/her own risk, it added.

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