Ojha Sanajaoba Memorial Trust (OSMT) Manipur and the Centre for Human Rights and Duties Education, Manipur University submitted a 10-point memorandum to the Prime Minister on September 20 urging to implement the resolutions adopted for ensuring the safeguard of the historically evolved multi-ethnic territorial boundary of Manipur by amendment of the Article 3 and Article 371C C(1)&(2) of the Constitution of India so as to empower state legislature to deal with the inherent politico-history, socioeconomic, and multi-ethnic cultural ethos of Manipur.
The resolutions included in the memorandum were taken by a panel of experts during the ‘One-Day Dialogue on Idea of Manipur: A Historical Legacy of an Asiatic Civilization’ organized by OSMT and the Centre at Manipur University’s Department of Commerce conference hall on September 18, stated a release.
It highlighted the political history of Manipur including the attainment of international status with signing of the Anglo-Manipuri Defence Treaty-1762 and Democratic set up with adoption of the Manipur State Constitution Act (MSCA-1947) on July 26, 1947, and under which Act, conducted the first Manipur General Elections to 52 seats in between 11-06-1948 to 27-06-1948 which was followed by the first Assembly session held on October 18, 1848.
It mentioned that the contentious Manipur Merger Agreement was signed on September 21, 1949, and officially declared takeover of Manipur State to the Union of India on October 15, 1949, adding that the first election under the Constitution of India was held in January 1952.
It also said that the status of Manipur was defined by the Calcutta High Court on ‘Keiphasing Case 7W.R.C.R./100’ (Cit. The Manipur Past and Present Vol-1, P-428) and the ‘Sajoupa Case 3W.R.C.R./16’ etc., that Manipur had been recognized as a Sovereign State.
Similarly, the then British records and accounts recognized Manipur as an Asiatic sovereign State in the 1860s. The same status of Manipur was reaffirmed by the statement of Barrister Manamohon Ghosh, it stated.
It asserted that the territorial integrity of Manipur has been fairly established for more than half a millennium and one can easily verify it from Henry Yule’s map of Manipur in 1500 AD, Rennel’s map of 1769 down to James Johnstone’s maps in the 19th Century. It further stated that the article 371(c) of the Constitution not only violates many other articles of the same book including Article 19(1)(f) but also manifests the Meitei community as the only citizen of India that cannot live freely anywhere in their own state (Manipur).
It underlined the statement under Article 2(4) of the UN Charters states which suggests the responsibility of India to safeguard the inviolable continuous muti-ethnic territorial boundary of Manipur within her Dominion and said that the central Government has international obligation to literally comply with the non-derogable UTI Possidetis rule in safeguarding the historically evolved territorial integrity of Manipur.
It said that the Meitei-cognate tribes remained the inalienable part and parcel of Manipuri history in spite of the fact that they were recently given Naga and Kuki nomenclatures by the British for colonial conveniences during management of their primordial form of village republics. It maintained that baseless claims over the state’s age-old territory of nearly 38 communities based only on some ethnic groups settled in contiguous areas, will only fan the flames of fratricidal wars, gross human rights violations and perennial unrest in the state of Manipur.
Similar copies of the memorandum were also submitted to the President, Union Home Minister, Manipur governor and Manipur chief minister, it mentioned.