Zeliangrong body irked
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Dimapur, June 10 2010: The state government of Manipur's move of declaring United Naga Council (UNC) president Samson Remmei and All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) chief David Choro as 'wanted persons' with Rs 1 lakh each on their heads has irked the Zeliangrong apex body, the Zeliangrong Interim Body (ZIB) of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland.

ZIB condemns in the strongest term the Ibobi Singh led Government of Manipur's (GOM) act of criminalizing two Naga social leaders, Samson Remei, President, United Naga Council (UNC) and David Choro, President, All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) by declaring as wanted persons with a catch price.

The unprecedented acts of Ibobi Singh's government are nothing but to continue the subjugation, suppression and inhuman treatment meted out to the Manipur tribal people and deliberate attempts to annihilate the Nagas, it said.

"Mandated by the Naga people, the United Naga Council is demanding the deferment of election to the house of Manipur Hill Areas District Council under the present form and content of Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 2008, as the Act endanger the very existence of Hill people as indigenous and tribal people; it has diluted and corrupted the constitutionally given rights of the tribals.

Many representations were made to the authorities and the GOM pointing out these defects in the law and the taking away of the rights of the tribal through the present Act.

However, Ibobi led GOM did not even acknowledge or respond to the various representations made by the tribals.

As a result, All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) and its constituent units were compelled to resort to the economic blockade as a last resort," the ZIB said.

The Zeliangrong body then stated that despite taking such strong actions, the government of Manipur has not made any positive overtures, instead it has sent in more security forces and also issued arrest warrants and put wanted tags on Naga social leaders.

Further the Ibobi led government has categorically rejected the genuine and legitimate demands of the tribals and has gone ahead with the election.

This game plan and evil design of Ibobi and his GOM has not been understood by non-tribals, instead they have supported the militarization of tribal lands and suppression of their rights, it added.

"It is pertinent to note that some years back, when the Meitei people were demanding inclusion within the 8th and 11th Schedules of the Indian Constitution and also for inclusion of Meiteis in Other Backward Class (OBC) of India, the tribal people, particularly the Nagas, supported their struggle.

However, none of these organizations have come forward to speak up for the rights of the tribals," the Zeliangrong apex body alleges while adding, "Therefore, we are left with no option but to fully endorse the 5 days ultimatum served to Government of Manipur by UNC and further proclaim that we shall undertake all possible actions to ensure the same is carried out".