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60 hour total bandh comes into force JAC petitions PM for separate administration

LAMKA: The Joint Action Committee formed against the three Bills passed by the State Assembly and the subsequent killing of nine civilians here has last night petitioned the Prime Minister seeking separate political administration for the tribals of Manipur.
The 60 hours hill area total bandh call given by the JAC has also come into effect from this noon.
Till the time of filing this report there has been no report of violence but the situation is likely to worsen.
The bandh which is set to go through Thursday night will expire concurrently along with the deadline served on tribal MLAs to demand the repeal of the controversial Bills or inclusion of an exceptional clause.
The JAC has made it clear that if the MLAs do not fulfil the ultimatum served earlier, they will have to face public boycott.
As womenfolk resumed their dharna immediately after the relaxation period given by the JAC expired at 12 noon, road blocks were set up cross the district with the streets wearing a deserted look.
Several women protestors were seen marching on the streets and chanting slogans that called for the resignation of all tribal MLAs as well as a separate political administration.
The bandh call was complete, with vehicles staying off the road and shops downing shutters.
Schools and educational institutions also remained close on the first day of the bandh.
“In order to realise the National dream of ‘Act East’ with participation of the local stake-holders like us and to restore normalcy and establish durable peace and development, we humbly request your honour to kindly address the existing administrative-deficit situation by instituting a separate political administration for the tribals outside the State,” said the JAC in the memorandum.
Political dialogue with tribal groups (KNO and UPF) who are already under SoO with the government, may be expedited towards this objective at the earliest possible.
Justifying their petition, the JAC said the spontaneous reaction of the tribals against the recently passed Bills in Manipur State Assembly once again signifies the deep divide between the tribals in the hill areas and the non-tribal in the valley.
“The violent reaction and subsequent loss of nine innocent lives and properties is indeed unfortunate, yet it is the only option to express our discontentment against the anti-tribal policy of the State Government”, continued the JAC.
It added that the tribals in Manipur are a minority community who have been subjugated by the majority people for ages together now.
‘They (tribals) are neglected – the four valley districts in Manipur are among the most advanced districts in the entire North East India. On the contrary, the six hill autonomous districts are within the bottom of ten most undeveloped districts in the region – and are voiceless and hapless community since they are outnumbered both within and outside the State Assembly,’ said the JAC .
The JAC’s memorandum signed by its chief convenor H Mangchinkhup and convenor (Administration) Lalkhohao Chongloi, also stated that parallel administration exists in the hills and valleys of Manipur which coincidentally represents the tribal and non-tribal areas but the provisions governing the tribal areas under Article 371 C, and the ADC have been time and again manipulated at will and rendered toothless by successive State Governments to subjugate the tribals.
With womenfolk again at the forefront in implementing the JAC bandh, several of them again held a protest rally chanting slogans that called for resignation of all tribal MLAs and a separate political administration.
Source: The Sangai Express

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