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ADC Bill 2021 not to divide state but to bring equal development, says ATSUM

Road blocked by activists during the shutdown

More than 200 goods laden trucks were reportedly stranded at Mao Gate due to the shutdown. It disrupted vehicular movements, closed all business establishments during the day.

By Samuel Guite, TFM Churachandpur Representative

The 24-hours total shutdown in all the hill districts of Manipur, called by the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) went on peacefully with no untoward incidents reported till the filing of this report. More than 200 goods-laden trucks were reportedly stranded at Mao Gate due to the shutdown. It disrupted vehicular movements, closed all business establishments during the day.

Addressing media persons at Senapati, ATSUM general secretary SR Andria appreciated and thanked all the tribal leaders, student leaders, women leaders and all the tribal populace for extending support positively to the total shutdown.

The total shutdown was called to express resentment over the ‘discriminatory act’ of the state government’s refusal to table the Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC bill, 2021 in the ongoing state assembly session. The office of the tribal students ATSUM placed on record to the public making clarification that the recommendations made by the Hill Area Committee is not to divide the state but a Bill to take up equal development between the hills and the valley of the state.

The HAC recommended the Bill under Article 371 (C) of the Indian Constitution of 1972, to be tabled in the assembly regarding ADC in the hills. According to the 1972 order, the recommended Bill should be normally given effect to it by the state government or otherwise, the bill can be referred to the governor by the state government if the Bill is considered incomplete. However, it is unfortunate for the state government to keep the bill in the cold storage, he stated.

The Manipur Legislative Assembly is to look into a Bill to turn it into an Act which is worthy for the welfare of the public. The tribal organizations are reportedly not happy when the bill was not tabled in the assembly which they termed as “unconstitutional.”

To sustain the movement, the ATSUM reportedly convened a tribal consultative meeting about the Bill at Adimjati Amity Hall, Chingmeirong, Imphal on August 24 at 1 pm where the apex student body of the hill requested all tribal political leaders, social workers, village chiefs, women leaders, student leaders including legal experts and well wishers.

The meeting would reportedly discuss relating to the Bill and as part of strengthening the movement. The ATSUM also humbly appealed to the valley civil organizations that the Bill would never aim to divide the hill and the valley but aims for equal development between the hills and the valley through the Bill and not to suppress anyone asking all to support the Bill for peaceful coexistence.

The supporters of the total shutdown included All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM), KSO-GHQ and its district branches, Gangte Students Organization, Zou Students Association, Paite Tribe Council, Komrem Students Association, Mar Students Association, Zomi Chief Association, Kuki Chief Council, Manipur and Sadar Hills Chief Association from Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts. The Chandel Naga People’s Organization, Chandel, Naga Women’s Union, Chandel, Naga Students Union, Chandel and Naga Chief Association, Chandel from Chandel district. Joint Tribe Council, Tamenglong, Joint Tribe Students Association, Tamenglong and Zeliangrong Students Union, Manipur in Tamenglong district. The Naga People’s Organization (NPO), Senapati District Women’s Association (SDWA), Senapati District Students Association (SDSA) and its federating units in Senapati district. The Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL), Tangkhul Chief Association (TWNL), Tangkhul Women’s Union (TSL), Tangkhul Students Union (TKS) and the Tangkhul Youth Organization (TMNL) in Ukhrul district.

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