Tribal consultative meeting held in Manipur

Correspondent IMPHAL, AUG 24 | Publish Date: 8/24/2021 12:55:34 PM IST

Three resolutions were taken in a consultative meeting held at Motbung in Kangpokpi district on Tuesday in connection with “The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021 recommended by the Hill Areas Committee (HAC)”. 

The programme was organized by All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) which was participated by All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM), Kuki Students’ Organisation-General Headquarters (KSO-GHQ) and their federating units, apex tribal organizations, district based apex organizations, women organizations, student bodies, scholars and well wishers.

According to the ATSUM, after views of all the participating members were taken into consideration, the meeting “unanimously adopted” the three resolutions.

Firstly, the meeting resolved to condemn the “biased” act of the state government for not allowing the conduct of “tribal consultative meeting” in Imphal on “The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021 recommended by the Hill Areas Committee (HAC)”.

Secondly, the consultative meeting resolved to form a committee under the aegis of ATSUM to “shoulder the ADC Bill 2021 movement”.

Thirdly, the consultative meeting resolved to organize consultative/sensitization programmes on the “The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021” in the hill districts, according to ATSUM.

The apex tribal student body of Manipur then said that today’s meeting “unequivocally” appreciated the initiatives of the “ Chairman and members of HAC in recommending a historic bill which seeks to empower Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) under Article 371 C”.

‘Bill needs careful examination’ 

On the last day of the 13th Session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly on Tuesday (August 24), Manipur Tribal Affairs & Hills (TA & H) Minister Vungzagin Valte, while placing his observation regarding ‘The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill, 2021’, appealed to all the “tribal communities in the hill areas in the State of Manipur” to have faith in the due process of the law and also to the present State government “which is committed to provide tribal centric development” in all the hill areas in the State of Manipur.

He said that the Tribal Affairs & Hills department has already issued a clarification that it had received an advance copy of draft “The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021” from the Hill Areas Committee, Manipur Legislative Assembly on August 17, 2021. 

He further said that since the proposed draft bill is a “complicated issue” even involving the repeal of the Act passed by Parliament namely Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971 (the Principal Act), and the Department of Tribal Affairs & Hills has consulted all stakeholders including the Law Department and office of the Advocate General. 

“They have opined that the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021 needs a careful examination according to the due process of law and the same has been processed accordingly, even by duly constituting a committee,” the minister added.

Vungzagin Valte also expressed that being a tribal himself and minister in charge of the Tribal Affairs & Hills Department, he would like to protect the interest of the tribal communities and take up developmental activities in the hills at all times.

He also highlighted that the present BJP led government has already taken up several initiatives like “Go to Hills”, “Hill Leaders Day”. Cabinet meetings in the hill districts were also held to review work progress.