IPSA objects introduction of Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill 2021 in Assembly Session while ATSUM seeks passing of the bill; ATSUM calls 24 hours shutdown against possibility that the bill may not be tabledn
International Peace and Social Advancement, IPSA and All Tribal Students' Union, ATSUM are head on against each other over the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill 2021, a bill which seeks more autonomy to Hill Areas Committee, HAC and Autonomous District Councils, ADCs. IPSA is objecting the bill citing that it imposes a threat to communal co-existence and territorial integrity of Manipur. While, All Tribal Students Union Manipur, ATSUM said that the bill once turned into an Act will facilitate equal development of hills and Valley regions of Manipur. It maybe mentioned that HAC has already recommended passing of the bill in the ongoing Assembly Session. The bill, if passed and turned into an Act will give self-governance to special areas of the Hills Areas recognized under the provisions of the Constitution of India.
Speaking to media at IPSA Office in Keishampat today, IPSA President Tourangbam Birjit said, 'forget about passing the bill, it cannot be even tabled in the house'. He claimed that the bill was pre-planned by Hill Areas Committee and it has the potential of bringing unrest in the state. Taking part in the press meet IPSA Vice President Khuraijam Athouba said, neither IPSA nor the valley people of Manipur are against any civilians of the hill areas but the hill leaders are misleading them. He pointed out that the bill includes provisions under the 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which the people of Manipur have been objecting for quite sometime. Athouba said that the bill seeks to create Naga Autonomous Council and Kuki Greater Autonomy and it will bring disharmony among various ethnic groups who have lived together in Manipur for over 2000 years as well as threaten the State's territorial integrity. He urged the state leaders to consider the disastrous impact once the bill becomes an Act. He also informed that IPSA will hold a public discourse on the bill to raise awareness on its demerits.
On the other hand, All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) has espoused Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill 2021. Speaking to media at ATSUM office in Adimjati Complex, Chingmeirong today, ATSUM General Secretary S.R Andria claimed that the bill will help in bringing equal progress in both hills and valley regions of Manipur. He urged all stakeholders concerned to introduce and discuss the bill in the house of the ongoing Monsoon session. Andria added that Hills Autonomous Council holds responsibility of empowering ADCs. ATSUM also called total shutdown in hill areas of Manipur starting from the midnight of August 22 till the midnight of August 23 in support of the bill and against the possibility that state leaders may fail to introduce the bill in the ongoing monsoon session of Manipur Legislative Assembly.
Shouldn't fighting the dreaded Coronavirus Pandemic be the priority when the state is still grappling with daily Covid-19 postive cases as high as 442 and 8 deaths reported in last 24 hours?