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PDA demands just rules for tribals

IMPHAL, Oct 3: Drawing the attention of the chief minister of Manipur, the Peoples` Democratic Alliance (PDA) submitted a memorandum to the chief minister today with charter of demands for the plight of the tribal people of Manipur and warned to launch democratic forms of agitation if the government fails to meet their demands before 20 October.

While informing this during a press conference held today at the office of the PDA, at Ragailong Imphal east, the president of the PDA, M. Maringa also revealed that the copy of the memorandum was also sent to the Prime Minister of India, Home Minister of India and also to the Governor of Manipur, the demands includes amendment of Manipur (Village authorities in Hill Areas) Act, 1956, framing of Rules under the provisions of the Manipur reservation of vacancies in post and services (For Schedule caste and Scheduled Tribes) Act, 1976, Enactment of Land Law and Forest Act including mineral resources exclusively for the Hill districts of Manipur and question of Deployment of IRB/Commando personnel in the Hill Districts of Manipur.

While elaborate their demands the secretary of the PDA, Gaidon Kamei, maintained that the village Authority Act, was hollow act, outdated and not at all applicable with the present situation full of complicates and technicalities.

The constitution of India has been amended for the 94th times in order to make applicable and enforceable with the fast changing of times, however the Manipur (Village Authorities in Hill Areas) Act, 1956 is still remained in a pathetic condition without any amendment till date which itself shows that the Gvoernment is not at all concern with the existence of the Hill people.

In connection with the framing of Rules under the Manipur Reservation in post and services (ST/SC) Act 1976, he said that under section 19 of the act, madated the state government for making rules to carry out all or any of the purposes of this act however, the government deliberately did not to frame rules to first-rate the imlementation of reservation for the ST/SC in the appointment of services under the Government of Manipur.

Rules must run along with the act just like a two sides of the coin. Gaidon also recalled that the erstwhile commissioner (TD) frame the Manipur Reservation of vacancies in posts and services (for ST/SC) Rules 1979 after calling objection and added that but the Rule was immediately rescinded and declared as to have not been issued and existed by the chief secretary to the Government of Manipur for not only once but two consecutive orders dated 2nd February, 1991 and 5th February, 1991. Moreover the questioning the policy and decision of the Government for not allowing to exist Rules for carrying out the reservation, one K. Pashi challenged the policy decision of the Government in the high court under W.P (C) No. 621 of 2000, unluckily, during the pendency of the case the petioner retired from the service and the case was disposed of with the observation that "the state of Manipur shall frame appropriate rules as expeditiously as possible. Any further delay in this regard would defeat the purpose of enactment of the reservation law". And even after this specific order of the high court the Government chose to remain silent and not to frame any rules. This action automatically frustrates the reservation Law and urged the Government to frame appropriate Rules, whether to implement 100 point roster or 200 point roster.

Further Gaidon Kamei, also asserted that, out of the total area of the geographical land of Manipur more than 80 percent of the area lies within the Hill districts, and the remaining consists of plain areas of Manipur having their own land law. But, even after more than 62 years, of India Independence and also even after 37 years of statehood of Manipur there is no land law. Forest act including mineral resources or even land record so to name for the entire hill districts of Manipur today so as to protect, safeguard and ensure proper management of the lands, forest and mineral resources of the hill people of Manipur. Land and forest and tribal/indigenous people are inseperable. The tribal community, clan or chief or even individual are the owners of the land as the ST and other traditional forest dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) area Manipur. Hence separate land law is demanded to suit the interest of the hill tribal villagers with the fast changing of time.

With regards to the decision of the Government of Manipur to deploy IRB/Commandos, Gaidon questioned on what basis the state security forces were to be deployed? As there was peace and tranquility in the entire district moreover the entire hill based militants were engaged in dialogue, which includes singing of SoO of Kuki militants and ceased fire between Naga militants. Besides it was a well known fact that militarisation was not the solution to confront revolutionaries movement. He also asserted that instead the deployment of the police commandos and IRB would create more problems in the law and order situations as it has been witnessed that more IRB and Commandos are involved in militant activities like that of the July 23 incident of killing in daylight. He further warned that if the Government failed to take early action in consonance with the Hill People of Manipur to set the things right to meet the Right ends of justice on or before 20 October, 2009, the PDA would launch democratic forms of agitation.

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