Tribal body threatens bandh over posting of non-tribal officer

Correspondent IMPHAL, Jul 19 | Publish Date: 7/19/2019 12:02:47 PM IST

A tribal body on Friday set July 22 deadline for the Manipur government to address its demand to revoke orders regarding posting of non-tribal IAS officers and joint secretary and director of state tribal affairs and hills department.

The ATRPFM protested and demanding   revocation an order of the state government issued on July 8 regarding transfer and posting of a non-tribal as director in TA & Hills department and transfer of LDC Md Rahimuddin Khan of TA&Hills to engineering section of the same department.
All Tribal Rights’ Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) threatened that if the government fails to revoke the orders, the body will impose a 24-hour bandh on three important national highways in Manipur from the midnight of July 23.
Not only the ATRPFM, some other tribal bodies including student based ones have been protesting against the government’s order to post the non-tribal officers to head the department dealing with the affairs of the tribal.
ATRPFM threatened the 24-hour bandh, in a memorandum submitted to the chief minister.  Copies of it were forwarded to state tribal affairs and hills minister, chief secretary and  additional chief secretary (tribal affairs and hills).
ATRPFM alleged that department of personal and administrative reforms of the state government has failed to hear the hue cry of the tribal people despite of repeated approached and appealed. 
“We have no other options except to take up our own course of action of which for any untoward outcome the government shall be solely responsible,” the tribal body stated in the memorandum.
It said that the TA & Hills department is responsible for many sub-ordinate departments like MTDC, TRI, six ADCs and the director is also an ex-officio member of the Manipur State Commission for Schedule Tribes.
It clearly reflected that the post of director of the department should be held  by a person who was well versed with the  custom, culture, and identities of tribal people of Manipur.
“We have apprehension that when a director does not understand the conflicting interests of different tribal communities, conflicts between tribes may occur within the tribal communities in the days to come,” it stated.
The memorandum further lamented that frequent transfer and posting of director of TA & Hills department has hampered the smooth functioning of the department as every new director does not know any file or work and he will solely depend on his staffs. 
Any officer on deputation is supposed to serve the department for minimum of two years and can be extended upto three years. But these things were not observed at all in the department, it added.
The ATRPFM said that they had even met the chief secretary of Manipur and have discussed in the matter, but even the chief secretary who is the head of executive has failed to keep his commitment.

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