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Friday, September 17, 2021

Manipur: Tribal students’ body calls for 24-hr total shutdown in hill districts from Sunday midnight

The shutdown has been called to protest the failure of the government to table the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill, 2021 in the ongoing monsoon session of the state Assembly.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal |
Updated: August 21, 2021 11:17:11 pm
The total shutdown called by All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur will come into effect from Sunday midnight and continue till Monday midnight. (Representational/AP)

The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) has called for a 24-hour total shutdown in the hill districts to protest the failure of the government to table the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill, 2021 in the ongoing monsoon session of the state Assembly.

The total shutdown will come into effect from Sunday midnight and continue till Monday midnight.

SR Andria, general secretary ATSUM, said the decision to impose the shutdown was taken during the special assembly of the Union against the state’s “lackadaisical attitude” towards the Bill.

The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill, 2021, drafted by the Hill Areas Committee (HAC), was reportedly submitted to the Manipur Assembly for passing prior to the monsoon session of the House which began on August 20. However, the first day of the monsoon session saw introduction of only seven Government bills.

“We want to question why the state is hesitating to table and discuss the Bill, which is for the welfare of the tribal people, on the floor of the ongoing Manipur Assembly,” said SR Andria.

The Bill was drafted by the Hill Areas Committee (HAC) after taking into account the deficiencies in the hill areas of the state, said Andria, adding that it aims to bring “equal development” in the hill districts.

The ATSUM secretary also demanded that the Bill be tabled and discussed in the ongoing session of the House.

According to HAC, since 1971, there have been several amendments to the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act. However, a review of the provision of 1971 Act indicated deficiencies which resulted in disproportionate development in the hill areas 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 the Hill Areas Committee and district councils.

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