Northeast

ATSUM leaders arrested over bandh call

Emergency shutdown begins at Kangpokpi, JTSA opposes shutdown in Tamenglong and Noney districts.

ByKaybie Chongloi

Updated 3 Aug 2022, 6:53 am

(Photo: IFP)
(Photo: IFP)

Emergency shutdown has begun at Kangpokpi town over the arrest of ATSUM leaders by the state government on Tuesday.

The ATSUM federating units including KSO and ANSAM had demanded the release of the allegedly arrested ATSUM leaders before 6:00 PM of Tuesday warning of an emergency shutdown if they were not released within the stipulated time.

Volunteers of KSO Sadar Hills, TSA Sadar Hills, Zillai and others were seen blocking the highway from 7 pm at Kangpokpi town.

Vehicles including trucks were stranded owing to the emergency shutdown.

Resenting the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the state government towards the wish and desire of the tribal people for the tabling of the HAC recommended “The Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill 2021” in the ongoing 2nd Session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly and the deceitful act of the incumbent HAC members in deviating from its previous position, ATSUM had announced a series of agitations including 24 hours total shutdown from 6 pm of August 3 in the entire hill districts till 6 pm of August 4. This was to be followed by other intense agitations on August 5.

However, ahead of its proposed stirs, some of the ATSUM leaders were reportedly summoned by Imphal West SP and were then allegedly detained.

The ATSUM generating units had immediately issued a statement to release the detained leaders or that they would be compelled to impose an emergency shutdown this afternoon.

ATSUM had stated that in its continued selfless and relentless effort for strengthening the Autonomous District Councils as mandated by the Article 371C of the Constitution of India read with the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Orders 1972, it is compelled to resort to agitation demanding the tabling of the HAC recommended "The Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill 2021" in the ongoing 2nd Session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.

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It continued that the decision to call the bandh is in pursuance of the resolutions adopted in the 2nd ATSUM General Assembly, 2022 at Haipi Village, Sadar Hills, and resolutions adopted at the subsequent meeting of ATSUM, ANSAM, KSO-GHQ, Federating Units of ATSUM dated 28th July 2022, virtual meeting with Federating Units of ATSUM dated 31st July 2022 to demand for tabling of the HAC recommended “The Manipur (Hill Areas) ADC Bill 2021” in the ongoing 2nd Session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly.

The student body appealed to all private and government educational institutes, government offices, business establishments, private vehicles, truckers, and any other transporters and the general public for cooperation.

Essential services like medical, power, media, and water supply will be exempted from the purview of the total shutdown.

Speaking to the media, Thangtinlen Haokip, general secretary, KSO Sadar Hills said that the emergency shutdown has been imposed owing to the state government’s failure to release the arrested ATSUM leaders.

Haokip said the agitation will be intensified if the ATSUM leaders are not released without any condition at the earliest possible.

A similar emergency shutdown has also been reported from Churachandpur and Moreh by the respective district KSO.

No untoward incidents have been reported till the filing of this report.

Meanwhile, as the emergency shutdown began on Tuesday, the Sadar Hills Chiefs Association (SAHILCA) has expressed endorsement and support to ATSUM agitations, demanding tabling of HAC Bill, 2021 in the current session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly.

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SAHILCA stated that the cause of the present agitation is due to non-fulfilment of Memorandum of Agreement signed between ATSUM and the Manipur State government by the latter in November 2021 in regard to tabling of HAC Bill, 2021, while the demand for strengthening and empowerment of Autonomous District Councils as per Constitutional provisions is the long-cherished dream of all tribals in Manipur.

The outright denial of the state government to table the said Bill is in contravention of Constitutional and other related rights of the tribal people and it manifests the anti-tribal mentality of the state government, it added.

SAHILCA also urged the state government to consider the rightful demands of ATSUM for equitable development of hills and valley alike. It said it would support the agitation of ATSUM in all possible ways in the interest of tribal people of Manipur.

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First published:2 Aug 2022, 3:35 pm

Tags:

arrestbandh callHACADC Billarsum

Kaybie Chongloi

Kaybie Chongloi

IFP Correspondent, KANGPOKPI

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