2nd Phase Of Census Discrepancies Mar Process: COPTAM

IMPHAL, Feb 11: Sensing suspicious intention of the Government of Manipur—Census officials to be precise—in matters related to Census in tribal areas, Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas Manipur (COPTAM) has alleged that the second phase of the National Census operation which began on February 9 is craftily engaged in reducing the decadal population of tribals in some areas of Manipur.

The general secretary of COPTAM Thangkam Lupheng today informed to Newmai News Network that he has been receiving information from leaders and village chiefs of Sadar Hills in Senapati district that there is an apparent discrepancy in the way the first and the second phase of the ongoing National Census operations is being conducted in their areas.

The village chiefs have been complaining that the NPR form that was handed out to be filled in by the villagers during the first phase of the census operations does not tally with the NPR form handed out in the second phase that started February 9.

The NPR forms were in greater circulation in the first phase than in the second phase, which apparently lacks logic with the obvious understanding the census is being allegedly used to manipulate and reduce the tribal population in identified pockets of the State, he said.

For instance, if 50 NPR forms were handed out during the first phase of the census operation in the area in question, this time the enumerators and supervisors have handed out 30 NPR, he alleged.

If the apparent inconsistency in the nagging villages located in the area is not addressed forthwith, COPTAM will be compelled to forbid the enumerators and supervisors from discharging their census duties, even banning their entry into the villages in question, he warned.

He has asked all trouble-stricken tribals who have had Census related questions to come and have their problems sorted out in the presence of Dr C Chandra Maully, Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Government of India, who is arriving in Imphal tomorrow to oversee the ongoing census operation. He also said that COPTAM will raise census related tribal issues before the visiting official.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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