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72-hr Chakka bandh called in Manipur hills

By Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, July 11 � The All Naga Students� Association Manipur (ANSAM) and the United Naga Council (UNC) have jointly called for a 72-hour �Chakka Bandh� in all Naga-inhabited areas from 6 pm of July 12 in protest against what the two Naga bodies called �the undemocratic and suppressive acts of the Manipur Government towards the tribals�.

However, emergency and essential services including press are exempted from the purview of the bandh.

The decision to call for the �Chakka Bandh� was taken at a joint meeting of the two Naga bodies yesterday at Senapati. The ANSAM in a statement said that the tribals in Manipur have consistently demanded the extension of the provisions of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution to the hill areas of the State since 1990.

After agreeing to accede to the demand, the Government of Manipur, however, maliciously stonewalled the process by inserting a rider that the 6th Schedule would be extended after �local adjustments and amendments�, it alleged.

It said, �Instead of sincerely pursuing their commitment, after 20 long years the Manipur Government came out with the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Councils (3rd Amendment) Act 2008, which doctored and stripped off of all the provisions that go into self- governance and the rights of the hill people over their land and resources, and removing the primacy of the traditional institutions of the tribals�.

The illegal manner in which the amendment was rushed through and the manner in which the ADC elections under the �unwanted 2008 Act� was imposed in the face of strong protests contravene the rights of the tribal people, the statement also alleged.

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