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ATSUM warns of ROTO agitation third phase

IMPHAL, October 14 (NNN): Irked by non fulfilment of various demands of the All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) led by Muan Tombing has announced to resume its agitation under the code name ROTO (Reckoning of the Other) third phase by October 21 in the form of indefinite closure of inter-State and national highways, banning of national projects including railway construction works along Jiri-Tupul and directing tribal people to stay away from the State’s Sangai Festival to be held in November.

The announcement was made during a consultative general body meeting held at the union’s administrative office located at Nagaram, Imphal today.


The meeting was attended by representatives of its federating units and advisory committee members of ATSUM which includes Churachandpur District Students’ Union (CDSU), Tangkhul Katamnao Shaklong (TKS), Naga Students Unit Chandel (NSUC), Zeliangrong Students Union Manipur (ZSUM) and Thadou Students’ Association (TSA).

Speaking in the meeting, president of ATSUM, Muan Tombing said that the culture of piecemeal recruitment drive in every department of Manipur government has led to a rift between the valley and hills in terms of employment.

He also stated that despite the understanding reached between the tribal students’ union and the government of Manipur on November 25, 2013 at the chamber of the State Chief Minister, thousands of backlog posts in every department are yet to be filled by a special recruitment drive for Scheduled Tribe (ST) by May 25, 2014, the deadline agreed upon to do so.

He further told that even after the Chief Minister had verbally assured to fulfil their demands within six months, the time period has lapsed and will soon complete a year.

He then mentioned that the Chief Minister had told them to take up any step if he failed to realise the ATSUM’s demands within the given time frame.

The charter of demands put up by ATSUM among the many includes clearing the disparity which exists in education sector in the hills, ramification of constitutional law by the State, executive and administrative vacuum in the hill districts, manipulation of development fund, negligence in reservation of tribal quota, exploitation of land and resources, oppressed situation of the tribals in Manipur, non-existence of State chief information commissioner and non-fulfilment of flagship programmes under MGNREGA and other schemes.
Today's ATSUM meeting also discussed strategies to enhance the movement of ATSUM for tribal unity.

The tribal student body has also warned to intensify their agitation by shutting down all offices located in the hills or even burning and destroying them if the government continues to remain callous towards the tribal peoples' plights.

Meanwhile, Muan Tombing said that since Majabung Gangmei has been called back by ZSUM, he is therefore not related to ATSUM in any manner. Helien Kipgen, deputy speaker of ATSUM will take charge as interim speaker until such time a new speaker's name is announced.

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