Thursday, August 18, 2022

ATSUM imposes lightning shutdown against arrest of leader


Irate over the detention of their leaders by police, a tribal based student body in Manipur imposed a lightning shutdown beginning from 6pm on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, a police team picked up four leaders of All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM), the apex body of tribal based student bodies, from its office in Imphal, around noon.
The detention of the four leaders, including ATSUM president Paotinthang Lupheng, was in the backdrop of a proposed 24-hour total shutdown in all hill districts of the state announced by the apex body due to begin from Wednesday (August 3) evening at 6pm, to press the state government to introduce the Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill-2021 recommended by HAC (Hill Areas Committee) in the ongoing monsoon session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly.
ATSUM imposed the ‘emergency shutdown’ ahead of the proposed shutdown in protest against alleged detention of four leaders, including its president, by the police in Imphal.
Sources said that the four leaders of the apex body were picked up by a team of Imphal West district police from ATSUM office in Imphal around noon.
A police source said that they were neither arrested or detained but picked up for a talk with the government over their proposed total shutdown in hill districts.
The ATSUM, however, claimed that the police have arrested their leaders and if they were not released by 6pm, it served an ultimatum to impose the lightning shutdown in hill districts from 6 pm. A report said that the shutdown began in Kangpokpi district headquarters where supporters blocked vehicular movement on NH-2.
“Denouncing this undemocratic act of state police, ATSUM would like to inform that if the arrested ATSUM EMs are not released on or before 6:00 PM today (02-08-2022), Emergency Shutdown in all hill districts of Manipur shall be imposed from 6:00 pm today onwards,” the statement signed by its vice president Vanlallian Khaute said.
He urged the general public to cooperate in their fight for tribals’ rights.
A report from Kangpokpi district headquarters said that the lighting shutdown has begun in the district.
The ATSUM has announced a 24-hour shutdown in the hill districts of Manipur with effect from 6 pm on August 3 till 6 pm on August 4.
The shutdown will be followed by intense agitation from August 5, ATSUM added.
While calling for the shutdown, ATSUM expressed strong resentment against the state government’s lackadaisical attitude towards the wish and desire of the tribal people for the tabling of the HAC (Hill Areas Committee) recommended ‘The Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill 2021’ in the ongoing 2nd session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.”
Various tribal based CSOs and students’ bodies have extended support to the proposed shutdown.
The support continued to pour in as Senapati District Students’ Union, All Naga Student Association Manipur, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong also announced their support to the shutdown.
It may be noted that on November 25, 2021, Manipur government had reached an agreement with the ATSUM, ANSAM and KSO (GHQ) in connection with the demand for the introduction of the amended ADC Bill, 2021 in the state Assembly.

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