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By Siamchinthang Tangpua
LAMKA, Aug 31: In supporting with the Kuki Students Organization (GHQ), All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) and ATSUM, both factions, have jointly called a 12-hour bandh in all hill districts of the State with effect from 6 am today.
The Zomi Student Federation (ZSF)’s calling 18 hrs total bandh in Churachandpur district has also paralyzed normal life. Confirming the decision, it said the decision was taken during a consultation meeting with Zomi Council, Zomi Youth Association, and Zomi Human Rights Forum, which held on August 30, 2015.
In a press statement, the ZSF said that calling bandh was in protest against the Manipur Legislative Assembly’s decision to pass MLR& LR Act, and further stated that the 18-hour bandh had been called against the introduction of The Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill, 2015, The Manipur Land Revenue & land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 and The Manipur Shop & Establishment (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 in the emergency sitting of the Manipur Legislative Assembly on August 28.
The tribal student bodies pointed out that the Bills introduced in the Assembly had overlapping points with Article 371 C and Manipur Hill People Administration Regulation Act, 1947.
The State Government had been apprised by various student bodies several times, said the press statement.
“While holding the State Government and the Hill Areas Committee responsible for any problems arising out of the agitation, the tribal student bodies also warned that when the tribal rights are threatened by way of systematic infringement, the bodies will not remain silent spectators”.
Various tribal bodies including KSO, ANSAM and ATSUM had released statements earlier expressing their resentment over the three Bills in the agreement signed between the state Government and the JCILPS on August 25. However, the three bills were introduced in the emergency sitting of the Manipur Assembly on August 28. The Bills will directly or indirectly affect tribal interests, asserted the student organizations.