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Indefinite Economic Blockade From November 24

IMPHAL, Nov 15: Protesting against the alleged political suppression, discrimination, deprivation and intimidation of the indigenous tribal people of Manipur, the Tribal Joint Action Committee on Delimitation has announced that an indefinite economic blockade along National Highways 39 and 53 will be imposed with effect from November 24 till the tribal people of Manipur are given all political rights enshrined in the Constitution of India.

Issuing a statement in this regard, convener of Tribal Joint Action Committee on Delimitation, H Benjamin Mate asserted that to sideline the issue of delimitation of Assembly Constituencies in Manipur, the State Government with a few bunch of Pseudo tribal politicians have been committing Constitutional fraud against the tribal people through the conduct of ADC elections in tribal areas in such a hurry with minor modification in the ADC Act, 1972.

Unlike the 6th or 5th Schedule of the Constitution, which is especially for the protection of the tribal of North East, the ADC Act of Manipur has no Constitutional protections or safe- guards. So, the imposition of ADC Act in tribal areas is nothing but the evil design of the Govt to establish political hegemony over the tribal areas, Benjamin said.

It was the first of its kind in the history of Manipur and India that 60 percent of the candidates were elected uncontested in the ADC election, he pointed out.

Benjamin lamented that though the Delimitation Act was introduced in the Constitution of India with the true spirit of encouraging the tribals to join the decision making process through the State Assembly and the Parliament, the Govt of Manipur has been trying its best to suppress the political rights of the tribal people.

Even in the present 2011 census exercise, the State Govt did all it could to project a minimum the population of the tribal people.

The head count data submitted by the enumerators have been outrightly rejected by the Chief Minister himself and the population of the tribals fixed on his table against all rules and norms of Census Act, 1948, he alleged.

While calling upon all tribal apex organizations, student bodies, Churches, village chiefs and general public to support the economic blockade until the demand is fulfill, Benjamin also urged the vehicles’ association to stop plying on National Highways while the economic blockade is in force to avoid misunderstanding.

It may be noted here that over the same demand, Tribal Joint Action Committee on Delimitation had boycotted the visit of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to Manipur on November 12.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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