RNSOM opposes ATSUM’s proposed 48-hour bandh

Correspondent Imphal, Oct 25 | Publish Date: 10/25/2020 1:33:23 PM IST

A tribal based student body in Manipur on Sunday strongly opposed calling for bandh at a time people were reeling under COVID-19 lockdown woes.

The student body announced that it will not support the 48-hour inter-state bandh due to commence on October 26 proposed by the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM).

ATSUM, on Saturday, announced that the apex body of tribal based student bodies will go ahead with its proposed 48-hour inter-state bandh and banning implementation of national projects in the hill districts after a failed talks with the state government.

The apex body has been pressing the Manipur government to announce the schedules of the elections to the autonomous district councils in hill districts and it has set October 25 deadline to address their demands.

However, a talk with the government at the level of the state tribal affairs and hills Vungzagin Valte on Saturday failed to arrive at a consensus.

As such,the apex body decided to go ahead with its proposed stir from Monday (October 26) after consultation with its federal units.

However, Rongmei Naga Students’ Organisation Manipur (RNSOM), in a release today, declared that it will not support the proposed stirs of ATSUM.

As such, there will be no bandh along NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam section of NH-37) in Tamenglong and Noney district, it announced,

Giving a bandh call in such a time while people of both hills and valley were reeling under post prolonged COVID-19 lockdown was “inappropriate, irrational and untimely,” RNSOM stated in the release.

It stated that the people of the state were having a hard time on account of COVID-19 pandemic both in hills and valleys. 

Thousands of public were struggling to meet their daily requirement while the state’s economy was just gaining momentum tardily post prolonged lockdown.

As such,  “RNSOM resolved not to support any bandh at this point of time including the 48-hour inter-state bandh and ban on construction work of national projects in the state from 26th October 2020 as declared by ATSUM,” it added.

“The declared bandh is considered inappropriate, irrational and untimely,” the student body added.

RNSOM however supported ATSUM’s call for early conduct of the elections to six ADCs in hill districts and urged the state government to expedite and conduct the ADC elections at the earliest “best opportune time” in larger interest of the people and as per the Manipur (Hills Areas) District Council Act, 1973.

RNSOM will monitor the work progress of all the national projects within the proposed 48-hour inter-state bandh.

“The general public, all national project contractors may execute their respective normal activities without any hindrances and restrictions,” RNSOM declared.

There will be no bandh on national projects and NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam highway) under Noney and Tamenglong districts, it declared.

The ATSUM has been pressing the state government to conduct the due elections to the six ADCs in hill districts by October/November 2020 as scheduled by the government. 

The state has 10 hill districts out of which five were newly created. However, all the districts are still covered by the six ADCs –Churachandpur, Chandel, Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong and Sadar Hills. The terms of the ADCs expired in May last. 

A cabinet decision of the N Biren Singh government had deferred the elections till October-November by extending the terms for six months. 

When the state government allegedly failed to take up necessary steps to hold the elections as per the schedule, ATSUM recently submitted memorandums to the state governor and chief minister, drawing their attention towards holding the elections in time.

Alleging that no positive response has come up till date, ATSUM announced that the apex body decided to go ahead with the proposed stirs from October 26. 

Kuki Students' Organisation (KSO) and the Zeliangrong Students Union Manipur (ZSUM), a Tamenglong based student body had already given go ahead signal to the proposed stirs of the ATSUM.


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