ZCOs hails Amit Shah's assurance
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Aug 11 : The Zeliangrong Civil Organi-zations (ZCOs) (Zeliangrong Baudi, Zeliangrong Youth Front and Zeliangrong Student’s Union) has welcomed the statement of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on August 6 on the floor of the Lok Sabha that the Government has no intention to remove the provisions of Article 371 which guarantees protection of tribal people and other minority communities of different States under the Constitution of India.
A press release issued by the ZCOs hailed the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for understanding the sentiments and interests of tribal people, particularly Zeliangrong people who live in three States (Assam, Manipur & Nagaland) where the said Article i.e. 371B in Assam and 371C in Manipur and 371A in Nagaland is enforced.
The ZCOs is also compelled to clear the confusion caused by ZNC, LNC, RNC, RNYO, LNKR and others by their repeated irresponsible claims which appeared in various local newspapers regarding the district boundary of Tamenglong district and Jiribam and their proposed 48 hours Tamenglong district bandh supposed to begin from August 10 has been put on hold following “fervent appeal” from the Government of Manipur, it lamented.
Stating that the alleged demand of the ZNC, LNC, RNC, RNYO, LNKR and others that those people who have settled after purchasing land from Tousem Sub-Division should pay tax to Tamenglong district administration is totally contradictory to the laws of the land, it claimed that the demand of the said groups reveal that they are totally unaware of the existence of legal provisions which are enshrined in the Constitution of India under Article 371C to safeguard and protect the rights, interests and land of tribal people of Manipur.
Their demand is totally rejected by the ZCOs and it is neither acceptable nor negotiable under any circumstances, ZCOs contended.
It then continued that as per the legal provision of Article 371C of the Indian Constitution, Hill areas is exclusively for the tribal people and the rights of the tribal people on such land is clearly written under section 158 of the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (MLR&LR) Act, 1960 where it is mentioned that “No transfer of land by a person who is a member of the Scheduled Tribe shall be valid unless – (a) the transfer is to another member of the Scheduled Tribe”.
Therefore, sale of land by member of a tribal to a non-tribal or purchase of land by a non-tribal from tribal people is legally invalid and null and void ab initio, it further contended, maintaining that those non tribal people who have settled within the jurisdiction of Tamenglong district boundaries bordering Jiribam have no legal acceptability in whatsoever manner. Therefore, the ZNC, LNC, RNC, RNYO, LNKR and others whose demands include that non tribal people should pay tax to Tamenglong district administration is deliberate attempting to sell out the inherent land rights of the Zeliangrong people on land in particular and tribal people in general which is in complete violation of the laid down laws.
Asserting that the demand of the ZNC, LNC, RNC, RNYO, LNKR and others have hurt the sentiments and interests of the Zeliagrong people in particular and tribal people in general, ZCOs cautioned the Zeliangrong people in particular and the tribal people in general to be alert in order to protect and safeguard their land.