ATSUM to go ahead with 48-hour 'bandh of inter-state movement' in Manipur

Newmai News Network
Imphal | October 24

The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) has announced to go ahead with the 48-hour “bandh of inter-state movement” from October 26 after the talk between the student body and the state government failed today.

 Zeliangrong Students’ Union, Manipur (ZSUM) has also announced to endorse ATSUM’s agitations.

The apex tribal student’s body of Manipur is demanding notification for the conduct of the elections to the six Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in hill districts of the state on or before October 25.

According to ATSUM, at the invitation of the state government, the meeting between the state government, ATSUM and the federating units of the apex tribal student body was held today at the office of Tribal Affairs and Hills (TA & H) minister Vungzagin Valte on the ultimatum served by the tribal student body. 

ATSUM had served a four-day ultimatum to the state government for timely conduct of ADC election 2020 a few days ago and demanded that there should be no further extension of term of office of all members of 6 ADCs. 

ATSUM then reminded that, as empowered by the Article 371C of Indian Constitution and subsequent order of V.V Giri, the then President of India, vide The Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972, wherein, constitution and power and functioning of District Councils in the Hill Areas are included in the schedule matters of the function of the Hill Areas Committee (HAC), the latter in its meeting on October 8, 2020 vide resolution no 35/2020 (HAC) had resolved to propose and recommend the Government of Manipur to conduct the ADC election on time.

“After a lengthy discussion, requests for suspension of the proposed agitation of ATSUM were made by the state government during today’s meeting on the promise that the ATSUM’s demand will be discussed in the next cabinet sitting of the government”, the apex tribal student body said. “However, after having serious consultations with our federating units, we have declined the state government’s proposal for suspension of the proposed agitation as the demand to issue ADC election notification was not materialized”, it further said.

 “Thus, the proposed 48-hour inter-state bandh and ban on construction works of national projects in the state from October 26, 2020 shall remain effective,” it added.

Earlier, ATSUM said that this would be the first form of agitation. "If the government fails to pay any heed to our demands after this, we will be compelled to impose an indefinite bandh in the state,” it added.  

Meanwhile, Zeliangrong Students’ Union, Manipur (ZSUM) said it fully endorsed the “genuine” demands of ATSUM in the matter of ADC election in the hill districts of Manipur. It said that ATSUM had “demanded and warned” the state government to come out with a concrete stand about the conduct of the election within four days as the terms of the 6 ADCs had expired in the month of May this year but terms were extended for another six months. “ZSUM, in this demand of ATSUM is ready to support, co-operate and will take up any step in our jurisdiction according to the directive of ATSUM,” the Zeliangrong student body said.

ZSUM then said that the extension of ADC tenure for 6 months from 1-6-2020 to 30-11-2020 was done on the reason of June-July being a rainy season, which is not convenient to hold elections. 

“However, if another six months extension of ADCs’ tenure is done, the next election of ADCs will fall in the month of June-July 2021 which will naturally be again a rainy season,” they added. ZSUM therefore, said it “stands” with the demand of ATSUM to the government of Manipur to issue a notification for the election of ADCs within the given time, failing which the student body will follow the directive of ATSUM to “seal inter-state routes and to ban the construction works of national projects including NF Railway (Jiri-Imphal), national highway road construction in Tamenglong and Noney districts for 48 hours starting from October 26, 2020”.