KANGPOKPI, Mar 1 : The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) submitted a memorandum to Governor Dr Najma Heptullah, today, apprising her not to give assent to the alleged controversial Manipur Agricultural Produce and Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2018.
The memorandum contained seven points, as to why the student body considers that the Governor must not give her assent to the alleged controversial bill.
A press release signed by Seiboi Haokip, general secretary ATSUM, alleged that The Manipur Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2018 was passed on February 23 by the Manipur Legislative Assembly without due process of Law.
Firstly, it said that the land of hill areas of Manipur is protected by Article 300A and 371C read with Article 21 of the Constitution of India and that the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960 is not extended in the Hill areas of Manipur and as such delivery or transferring by the Deputy Commissioner concerned under Section 14 of the controversial Bill is unconstitutional to the Special provision referred above.
It also said that declaring the whole State as one single unified market area is contradicting the laws and regulations for the time being in force, which is an indirect attempt to loot tribal lands.
Secondly, a reasonable time period for about three months must be given in favour of HAC for consideration and discussion before passing the controversial Bill.
However, the State Government failed to do so thereby violating the order issued by the then President VV Giri, on June 20, 1972, which is also known as the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972.
Thirdly, transfer of land belonging to tribals by the State Government is prohibited under Article 10 and Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by General Assembly Resolution 61/295 on September 13, 2007, and to which India is one of the signatories.
As such the State Government cannot bypass the said provisions.
Fourthly, the opportunity of making appointment of Sub-Committee under Rule 226 (i) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Manipur Legislative Assembly was bypassed thereby violating the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Manipur Legislative Assembly.
Fifthly, transfer of land is prohibited by the Standing Order No 9 of 10-12-34 which reads, “Transfer of land from one village to another by sale of any other way is not allowed except with the permission of the President, Manipur State and terms and conditions of any such be clearly laid down and agreed before such permission will be given”.
As such, to obtain tribal land from backdoor is in violation of law and threat to the existence of tribal community, it added. The controversial Bill amount to forceful seizure of tribal land, which is arbitrary and in violation of constitutional law.
An excessive power vested in the Deputy Commissioner within the jurisdiction of Autonomous Districts Councils (ADC) for setting up of Market Areas is against the norms, and it violates ADC Act, 1971 and Rules, 1972.
Lastly, passing of such controversial Anti-Tribal Bill shall lead to unrest in the State and accordingly would cause to curtailment of democratic value of the country, it claimed.
As per the Manipur Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2018, passed on the February 23, 2018 by the Manipur Legislative Assembly, the poor tribal farmers will be mere producers and eventually become foreigners in their own lands.
Considering the above reasons, ATSUM appealed to the Governor not to give approval to the alleged controversial Anti-Tribal Bill and to uphold the Special Provision of the Constitution of India in favour of the tribal community living in Manipur.