Aizawl, Sept 6: Various student bodies in Mizoram slammed Manipur government for the passage of three bills in the state assembly’s special session recently which will infringe on the long existing rights of the indigenous tribal people in hills districts of Manipur and demanded the central intervention to probe into the killing 8 civilians during violence which erupted in Churanchandpur district of Manipur since August 31 following the anti-bill agitation.
The joint meeting of Mizoram based student bodies comprising Mizo Students Union (MSU), Hmar Students’ Association (HSA), Jt. Hqrs, Aizawl and Siamsinpawlpi (SSPP), Headquarters, Aizawl held on last Friday over the passage of what the student bodies termed as ‘anti-tribal bills’ and the subsequent killing of 8 tribal civilians in a mass protest, slammed the government of Manipur for passing three bills viz. 1)The Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill, 2015, 2) The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 and 3) The Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 which are apparently to have infringement on the right of the indigenous tribal people.
Taking a chide at Manipur government, the student bodies said that while it was expected to show a motherly and indiscriminate treatment to the agitating mob, the use of brutal force and coercive measures by the state government to quell the mass agitation which resulted in the death of 8 civilians including a 10-year old boy has clearly manifested the anti-tribal feeling developed by Ibobi Singh led Manipur government. “The deprivation of rights and oppressive measure adopted by the Manipur government also signifies that the tribal people are not completely safe under this government”, the students bodies said in a statement.
While extending its fullest support to the mass agitators to protect their rights and ancestral lands, the joint sitting of MSU, HSA and SSPP also expressed profound grief for the lost of innocent lives and sympathized the suffering of the indigenous tribal people of Manipur.
The student bodies in a statement stated it would look into the state government measure to resolve the plight of the indigenous tribal groups and unless such measures are proved satisfactory it would take further step to help the community in safeguarding their rights.
Meanwhile, the Hmar Students’ Association (HSA), Jt. Headquarters, Aizawl and Siamsinpawlpi (SSPP), Headquarters, Aizawl, Mizoram in a joint declaration blamed the government of Manipur for the passage of ánti –tribal bills’.
The joint meeting of the two students bodies held on 4 September observed that ‘The Land Revenues and Land Reforms (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015’ which set 1951 as the base year to identify the indigenous people was an attempt to grab the ancestral lands of the indigenous tribal people by the government and a deprivation of the rights enjoyed by them from time immemorial.
The Joint meeting condemned the suppressive or oppressive measure adopted by the government of Manipur and the brutality of Manipur police/commando to control the agitating mob which led to the killing of 8 innocent tribal civilians in police firing during violence which erupted in the Churachandpur district of Manipur since 31st August following the passage of anti-tribal bills by the state assembly.
While blaming the step motherly treatment by Manipur government against the tribal people and other minorities in Manipur and the highhandedness of the state government in dealing with the protestors, the joint meeting urged the state government to repeal or review all the bills and demands punitive action against those security personnel involved in firing. It further seeks the central intervention to probe into the killing of 8 civilians and social upheaval in hills districts of Manipur.
The joint meeting of HSA and SSPP also condoled the death of 8 civilians including a 10-year old boy who had been killed in police firing and accident during the state government sponsored violence erupted in the wake of the anti-tribal bills agitation.
Seeing the insecurity and vulnerability of the tribal under Manipur government, the joint meeting extends fullest support to the movement or protest launched by the tribal groups to protect their ancestral lands and the JAC’s demand for the creation of ‘separate administration’ for the protection of the indigenous tribal people of Manipur.