The Sadar Hills Tribals Union on Land and Forest (SHITULF) has extended its support to the All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) proposed "solidarity rally" on May 3 in all the hill districts of the state.
It stated that the ATSUM's proposed solidarity rally is in protest against the state government's mishandling of various policies afflicting the rights and interests of the tribal people.
SHITULF considered the demand of some Meitei organisations for scheduling of the majority and an advanced Meitei community as ST as an "illegitimate demand" and also considered a direct threat to the existence of the already marginalised, suppressed, and minority tribals of Manipur.
It also stated the demand for ST by the Meitei community cannot be accepted at any cost.
SHITULF stated that the recent unrest caused in the hill districts due to Reserve Forests and Protected Forests issue is a threat to the security and existence of the hill tribal people, which the tribals take as an attempt to grab tribals' land by way of majoritarian and political powers.
It also stated that the policy of the state government in this regard amounts to total disregard for the provisions of the Indian Forests Act, 1927, and other Forests Acts passed by the govt from time to time.
We want the "rule of law" in accordance with the provisions of the Acts and the Constitution, it stated.
It further stated that the present imbroglio in hill districts is the result of the "use of political and majoritarian power" by the state govt in contravention of the prevailing laws and rules of the land.
Therefore, the SHITULF feels it indispensable to stand up against the injustice meted out to tribals with the support of village chiefs, CSOs, and the general public, it added.
While extending its full support to the ATSUM's proposed 'Solidarity Rally' on May 3, the SHITULF appeal to the people of Kangpokpi district to take part in the rally for the success of the rally in the interest of the protection of tribals rights and land.
Meanwhile, the Tribal Churches Leaders Forum (TCLF), Manipur has also unanimously resolved to endorse and convey its solidarity to the upcoming tribal solidarity march on May 3 in all the hill districts of Manipur under the theme "Come now let us reason together".
It stated that the proposed solidarity march organised by ATSUM is to collectively protect the social, political, and religious interests of the tribal people of Manipur.
TCLF firmly believes and fully endorses the clarion call of ATSUM for a collective and secure future for the tribal people of Manipur, it stated.