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Blockade suspended, Manipur says tribal rights not suppressed
Correspondent KOHIMA/ New Delhi, JUN 18 (NPN/PTI):
Published on 19 Jun. 2010 12:49 AM IST
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Six Naga organizations have jointly decided to temporarily suspend the current economic blockade on NH-39 and NH-53 enforced by All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) w.e.f 4 pm of June 18. ANSAM was protesting holding of elections to Autonomous District Councils in Manipur hills.
The decision was among the 7-point resolution adopted during the more than five hours joint meeting of Naga Hoho, United Naga Council (UNC), the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), ANSAM, Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (South) and the Naga Womens’ Union Manipur (NWUM) held on Friday at Hotel Japfu Kohima on the present political situation in the Naga areas of Manipur.
The six organizations in a joint declaration said the economic blockade was suspended in view of requests made by central leaders, student communities of the neighbouring states and the Indian civil societies at large, for lifting of the economic blockade, which was conveyed through the NSF.
The organizations, however, said that the agitation programme of the people would continue in different forms and at different levels till the aspirations of the Naga people was fulfilled.
It was stated that the meeting endorsed the UNC’s decision to declare the imposed District Council Elections in the Naga areas of Manipur as “null and void” and fully endorsed the decision to sever all ties with the government of Manipur. The organizations demanded that the government of India immediately make alternative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur to fill up the vacuum created by the severance.
They reminded the government of India that its assurances and commitment given to the Naga people for the removal of the Manipur State Armed forces and Section 144 CRPC and demilitarization of the Naga areas of Manipur have not taken place till date. They demanded that the assurances were complied with immediately.
The joint statement said that the meeting condemned the declaration of UNC and ANSAM leaders as offenders and the fixing of price tags on them by the government of Manipur. It was state that the meeting strongly reaffirmed that the “Indo-Naga” peace process be expedited and carried forward to its logical conclusion.
The joint declaration was signed by presidents of Naga Hoho Keviletuo Kiewhuo, NSF Mutsiikhoyo Yhobu, ANSAM Adani David, UNC speaker S.K. Milan, NWUM secretary, K. Marigold and NPMHR (South) co-convenor Phakhami.
Manipur on ADC election
Manipur government today termed as “false and unfounded” the allegation by Naga civil society groups that it was suppressing the rights of Nagas.
“While the Naga Students Federation (NSF) and the All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) claimed that the Autonomous District Council Act suppresses the tribal rights, the reality is however completely opposite,” Manipur government spokesman and cabinet minister N Biren told reporters here.
Biren said, “Manipur government could not do anything directly or independently in regard to framing any policies of tribals or hill districts as it is not permitted by the Constitution of India.
“The Article 371 (C) of the Constitution provided a special provision for the five hill districts of Manipur inhabited by tribals like Nagas, Kukis, Paites, Hmras, Mizo, Kom and Chiru.”
He further said as per rules the state government cannot do anything in hill districts unless the policy framed by the government is cleared by the Hills Areas Committee (HAC) comprising 20 elected tribal MLAs.
Even the state assembly cannot pass a bill relating to hill districts unless it is cleared by the HAC, he added. Meanwhile, the Manipur government also reaffirmed that it won’t allow Muivah inside the state.
“After what has happened over the past two months, we will not allow Muivah to visit Manipur,” Manipur minister and government spokesperson N Biren Singh told The Indian Express.
“Muivah’s proposed visit to his native village Somdal was not a homecoming for the simple reason that … he would hold public meetings in Ukhrul and Senapati. How could we allow that?” he said.

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