November 19, 2021 9:47:22 pm
The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM), All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM), Kuki Students’ Organisation-General Headquarters (KSO-GHQ) and federating units of ATSUM have announced to launch a series of agitation from Saturday in the hill districts of Manipur over the new Autonomous District Council (ADC) Bill.
The student bodies will first go ahead with a 24-hour total shutdown on Saturday followed by an indefinite economic blockade from Monday.
Khaiminlen Doungel, secretary publicity and information of ATSUM said an official discussion between the state government and the joint student organisations was held Friday at the CM’s Office in the presence of the Chief Minister to discuss the HAC recommended ‘Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill 2021.’
However, both the parties could not reach an “agreeable” solution in their positions as a result of which the announced agitations will go ahead as scheduled, said Doungel.
Earlier, the joint student bodies served a 7-day ultimatum to the state government reiterating the demand for convening a special session of the state Assembly to table the ADC Bill 2021 recommended by Hill Areas Committee (HAC) of the state Assembly.
Failing to pay heed to the demand, it announced a 24-hour total shutdown in the entire hill districts of the state on November 20.
In the event of failure to give a positive response after the total shutdown, the student bodies resolved to impose an indefinite economic blockade along the national highways of Manipur from November 22.
In August this year, the HAC of Manipur Legislative Assembly recommended a new Bill that aims to bring equal development in the hill districts.
According to HAC, since the year 9171, there were several amendments to the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, however, a review of the provision of 1971 Act indicated deficiencies that resulted in disproportionate development between the areas of the hills and valley of Manipur over the years.
The committee said the new draft Bill seeks to repeal and replace the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils Act, 1971 in order to provide more autonomy to the HAC and the district councils.
Article 371C of the Constitution of India provides for separate schemes for the administration of the hill areas in Manipur through Hill Areas Committee and District Councils.
However, the state government did not table the Bill in the last Assembly session citing various legal issues that needed to be addressed before introducing it in the house.
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