Now, NPF too opposes Draft Bill Says it will hurt hill and valley people

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IMPHAL, Aug 24 : Iterating its stand against the Draft Bill, christened the Manipur Regulation of Non-Local People Act, 2016, the Naga People’s Front, Manipur State Unit has today asserted that if the Bill is passed in the Legislative Assembly of Manipur, it will go against the interest of the Hill people and equally harm the people in the Valley.
In a statement, L Dikho, Samuel Risom, ST Victor Nughlung and V Alexander Pao, who appended their signatures as ‘resigned MLA’ said that if the Government insist on introducing the same and passing it, then it should be done so only for the valley areas and not the hill areas of Manipur.
Outlining the reasons for their opposition to the Draft Bill the four said that the ‘State Assembly is not competent to legislate on the subject matter of ‘Peace’ which falls under the Union List and enact a law to violate Constitutional provisions like Article 14, 19 and 21 read with Article 371 C.
If passed many sections and clauses will be nullified and rendered redundant, said the NPF and detailed them as Assam Land and Revenue Regulation 1886 (Regulation I of 1886) which protects the rights and interests of the tribals of Manipur over land and resources; Manipur State Hill People (Administration) Regulation Act, 1947 which protects the rights, culture, customs, land and business of the hill villagers.
The other sections and clauses which will be nullified and rendered redundant include Manipur (Village Authority in hill areas) Act, 1956 which empower the village authorities in judiciary, policing, administration within the village jurisdiction,; the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reform Act, 1960, which is not extended to the Hills of Manipur and prohibits the sale and purchase of tribal land to non-tribals and the Manipur (Hill Areas) district council Act, 1971 which empowers the ADC members on land and resources and Manipur Hills Areas (House Tax) Act, 1966 etc.
The NPF further said that numerous judgment and rulings of the Supreme Court and other High Courts concerning the rights of the tribals on land, resources, settlement, tenancy, ownership etc will be rendered meaningless,
The Bill also aims to mutilate Article 371 C which protects the hill tribals of Manipur, it added.
The Draft Bill also destroys the powers vested with the hill authorities, added the NPF.
The definition of local and non-local man is also vague and deceptive, said NPF.
The NPF further said that the Draft Bill will reduce the status of the land owner wherein the tenant will become the land owner. The logic of protecting the indigenous/original people of Manipur will therefore become a mockery.
Asserting that NPF cannot allow family members to enter Manipur with permits, it said that the Draft Bill is a mechanism to harass, oppress and torture the hill people.
The Draft Bill also undermines the village Courts, wisdom of the tribals, the elders who have been running village administration for numerous years, said NPF and added that they will be subjected to the whims and caprices of corrupt Government employees.

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