JOINT ACTION COMMITTEE
AGAINST ANTI - TRIBAL BILLS
jac.tribals@gmail.com

Press Release
Lamka, 28th February, 2016

The Joint Action Committee Against Anti-Tribal Bills (JAC) would like to bring to the notice of the general public the gross error and misinformation in the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh's speech at the Manipur Legislative Assembly session on February 22, 2016 regarding the 'constitutional protection' of the Hill Areas of Manipur and the ongoing Tribal Movement. [Transcript by Virthli]

1. The Hill Areas of Manipur are constitutionally protected under Article 371C of the Indian Constitution, as well as the Presidential Order dated 20th June, 1972, namely, the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972 promulgated by Shri V.V. Giri, the then President of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 371C. Hence, the Chief Minister's statement that "the hill areas of the state are constitutionally protected by the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act" is not only misleading and unconstitutional, but is also anti-tribal and has misguided and misinformed the august gathering of the Legislative Assembly. The reasons behind the members of the Hills Areas Committee/tribal MLAs choosing to again remain mute spectators to such a deceptive remark by the Chief Minister are obvious and need no further interpretation.

2. The Chief Minister's claim regarding the 'constitutionally protected' status of the Hill Areas under the Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reforms Act, 1960 belies the fact that instead of any protection, this Act was used by the Manipur Government to annex the tribal lands of the hill areas of Manipur which are constitutionally protected under Article 371C of the Constitution of India without the knowledge and ermit of the Tribal Chiefs and Hill Peonies of the concerned Villa es as given below:

Order No. and Date of Notification - Areas/Villages Covered
1. 306-E-259, Feb. 26, 1962; No. 142/12/60-M, February 22, 1962. - 89 villages of Churachandpur Sub-Division
2. 307-E-260 Feb. 26, 1962; No. 142/12/60-M, February 22, 1962. -92 villages of Jiribam Sub-Division
3. 453 March 3, 1965; No. 138/4/64-M, February 26, 1965. -14 villages of Sadar Hills, Mao Sub-Division
4. 124-E-90 Dec. 1, 1964; No. 140/12/60-M (A) November 26, 1965. - Makhao Tampak, Churachandpur Sub-Division
5. No. 3/12/83-LRC November 14, 1978. - 809 hectares of Khoupum Valley, Tamenglong District

3. In his speech, the Chief Minister mentioned that the Manipur Government has always appealed to the agitators (tribal people) to bring the provisions or parts of the bills they are not satisfied with to the negotiating table and find amicable solution. The JAC delegates were told on 29th December, 2015 that the next round of talks will be scheduled once a document outlining the anti-tribal nature of the bills was submitted to the Manipur Government. Accordingly, a six-page document was submitted to the Manipur Government on 11th January, 2016 pinpointing the various parts of the bills which were found to be anti-tribal and an infringement on the rights of the tribals as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. This is in addition to the JAC's four-page Charter of Demands submitted on 9th November, 2015.

4. The Chief Minister's reference to the agitation against the three anti-tribal bills and the ongoing Tribal Movement as a 'Churachandpur issue' and a 'law and order problem' contradicts the ground reality, and the same will become more evident in the comingdays.

INFORMATION & PUBLICITY DEPARTMENT

[Transcript by Virthli]


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