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60 Hours CoPTaM Hill Bandh From December 7

IMPHAL, Dec 2: On account of Manipur Government’s alleged indifference to the plights of the tribal population in Manipur, the tribal rights group, Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas, Manipur (CoPTAM), has announced a 60-hour general strike in all the hill districts of Manipur from 5 pm of December 7 to 5 pm of December 10.

Condemning the Government for the policy it has adopted in ‘exploiting the tribals and alienating’ their rights by conducting the ‘controversial overlapping census’, the tribal rights body alleged that, ‘overlapping census is a result of revenue collection in some parts of hill districts whose land records are maintained by the valley districts giving rise to overlapping of district boundaries i.e. distorting the original boundaries.’

CoPTAM demanded the transfer of land records and restoration of original district boundaries, as also the roll back of the proposed redrawing of Jiribam district which is set to affect some parts of Churachandpur and Tamenglong districts.

It highlighted the anxiety caused by the recent Government plan to urbanize Moreh, an Indo-Myanmar border town, against the interest of the majority local tribals, and the random deduction of tribal population to 17 percent in the current census operation.

The State Government is planning to establish Indian Reserve Battalion and commando post near Vangai and attempts to rehabilitate cadres of valley underground outfit, KCP (Lallumba) faction at Leikun in Chandel district against the interest of the indigenous tribals, it said.

‘Compromising our ancestral land tantamount to compromising our people and future,’ CoPTAM declared and took a dig at the cry raised to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur of State’s integrity saying, ‘CoPTAM respected State integrity but the mere proclamation of State integrity without moral integrity of the people is meaningless.’

The tribal body appealed for support from non-tribal organizations, NGOs, and peace and just loving individuals in their demand for just and respectable settlement of tribal land rights and not to pre-empt by giving it a communal hue.

*Source: Newmai News Network

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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