Tribals – Manipur
Legislations, Ordinance, Laws, Organisations pertaining to Tribals of Manipur
1947: Manipur State Hill Peoples (Administration) Regulation Act, (MSHPAR),1947
1956: Manipur Village Authorities (Hill Areas) Act, 1956
[Relevance: Customary practices and traditions of the tribals of Manipur]
1960: Manipur Land Reform and Land Revenue Act (MLR &LRA),1960
[Relevance: Attempts are being made by the state government to extend this Act to the hills areas of Manipur, with possibility of negative consequences for the tribals.
1967: Manipur Hill Areas (Acquisition of Chiefs Rights) Act, 1967
[Relevance: Enables Govt. of Manipur to transfer all rights, titles and interest of the chiefs in village land and vest the same in the Government]
1971: Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971
1972: Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972
2006: Forest Rights Act, 2006
[Relevance: The Act, willfully, does not exclude the tribal areas in the state in full knowledge of the land holding system of the tribals in the state]
2002: Manipur (Village Authorities in Hill Areas) Second Amendment Ordinance, 2010
2008: Areas) District Councils (Third Amendment) Act, 2008
[Relevance: Allows District Councils to occupy and sell village land, take away forest land, interfere in the appointment/ succession of chiefs/ headman/ chairman and interfere on matters relating to inheritance of property, marriage and divorce and control and regulation of customs and traditions]
2010: Committee on Protection of Tribal Areas in Manipur (COPTAM)
THE CONSTITUTION (SCHEDULED TRIBES) ORDER, 1950
PART X.- Manipur
8. Kabui (Kabui Inpui, Rongmei, as per The Constitution (Scheduled Tribe) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2011)
9. Kacha Naga (Kacha Naga, Liangmai, Zeme, as per The Constitution (Scheduled Tribe) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2011)
10. Koirao (Koirao, Thangal, as per The Constitution (Scheduled Tribe) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2011)
17. Any Mizo (Lushai) tribes
COPTAM takes case of tribal issues to NCST
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network
Imphal, September 04 2012:Committee for Protection of Tribal Areas, Manipur (COPTAM) has apprised the National Commission for Schedule Tribe (NCST) in New Delhi today about the issues pertaining to tribal community of Manipur. A five-member delegation of COPTAM led by its chairman Letpu Haokip and general secretary Thangkam Lupheng met Dr. Rameshwar Araon, Chairman of NCST at New Delhi and submitted a lengthy memorandum highlighting the plights of the tribal people of Manipur.
COPTAM leaders informed Newmai News Network over phone from New Delhi that Dr Rameshwar Araon gave a patient hearing when apprised about the tribal issues of Manipur this afternoon.
Issues such as Land record and District boundary, MLR & LR Act, 1960, Proposed Manipur (Village Authority in Hill Areas) 2nd Amendment Act, 2011, Proposed Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council, 4th Amendment Act, 2011, Forest Acts, Moreh Rural/Urban issue, Panchayati Raj/Municipality in the hill areas, police boundary and Constitutional provisions for protection of tribal land rights in Manipur are mentioned in the COPTAM memorandum.
According to the tribal leaders, on October 15 in 2010, they had submitted similar memorandum to the National Commission for Schedule Tribe (NCST) and today’s intimation was a reminder of it.
COPTAM leaders claimed that the NCST had asked the state government of Manipur to furnish certain reports on the matters pertaining the tribal people of Manipur in the year 2010 but the state government is yet to reply to the Commission till date.
“We are shock to learn about the attitude of the state government for its reluctance to co-operate with the NCST on the matter,” said the COPTAM leaders.
Prior to their departure to New Delhi, COPTAM leaders in a meeting had resolved that it would oppose tooth and nail regarding the government decision which says that recognition of any new village in the hill districts of Manipur should be done with the consent of the state Revenue department.
COPTAM general secretary Thangkam Lupheng said that they along with the support of the tribal people will oppose the decision.
“The final authority with regard to the recognition of a new village in the hills is the Hills department,” stated the COPTAM resolution.
Thangkam added that another thing that was taken in the recent meeting in Churachandpur has been on the Jiribam issue.
The COPTAM leader says that the Committee does not oppose to the “declaration” Jiribam subdivision as a full fledged district.
“However, if at all the state government grants the Jiribam subdivision to district status, it should be declared as a “hill district” and not otherwise,” said COPTAM resolution.
According to the tribal committee, in case the state government declares Jiribam as a district but still not as a hill district status then tribal villages should be adjusted to include in either Churachandpur or Tamenglong districts.
Driving home its point to prove Jiribam is in a hill district, COPTAM claimed that in the 1970s any government employee posted in Jiribam was given the ‘hills allowance’ by the government.
“This has proved that Jiribam is very much in the hill district,” said COPTAM.
On the hill land survey matter, COPTAM meeting resolved that no agency or government department should be allowed to carry out the survey.
COPTAM’s move on this came after the state Revenue minister had stated in the last assembly session that hill land survey would be carried out soon.
However, expressed if certain acceptable mechanism is done by the state governmentfirst then the tribal committee may review its decision.
COPTAM cited that all land record should be submitted to the respective Autonomous District Council (ADC) and followed by proceedings acceptable to the tribals before the hill land survey is done by the state government.
On the Autnomous District Councils (ADCs) in the hills, COPTAM said that for namesake it is ‘autonomous’ but in reality it is hollow ADCs in Manipur hills.
“COPTAM demands from the government to make the ADCs in Manipur hills fully ‘autonomous’ .
“Since the elections to the ADCs were held and though it is only a namesake in existence we can do little now to reverse the whole process except to demand for the real autonomous district councils and empower the local people so as to make the grass root level democracy meaningful,” said COPTAM.
COPTAM’s 3rd conclave held
Imphal, September 10 2012:Committee for the Protection of Tribal Areas, Manipur (COPTAM) in its 3rd Intellectual Conclave-2012 in New Delhi with a theme, “Protection of Indigenous Tribal Land Rights” has deliberated various issues pertaining to the tribal people and their land in Manipur.
The COPTAM conclave that was held at Constitution Club, Rafi Marg in New Delhi on Saturday was attended by many tribal leaders and intellectuals in Delhi. The programme was also attended by Lok Sabha MP from Manipur outer parliamentary constituency Thangso Baite. On being learnt about the conclave held in New Delhi, Newmai News Network contacted the tribal leaders in the national capital and they disclosed that various tribal leaders and intellectuals in the programme deliberated on the ‘threats’ posed to the tribal land and the possible means to redress such problems. After a prolonged brainstorming session and exchanged of views on the matter, the tribal intellectuals and activists unanimously decided to affirm the legitimate demands of the COPTAM for protection of tribal areas in Manipur.
The participants then expressed their concerns to the indifferent attitudes of the State Government to COPTAM’s numerous petitions, protests and democratic agitations to address the tribal grievances in Manipur. The tribal leaders appealed to all elected representatives including MLAs, MPs, MDCs and others to co-operate at their own level to favorably solve these sensitive issues. They also appealed to the Union Government for immediate intervention in the matter and initiate steps for protection of Manipur tribal areas under existing Constitutional provisions. The conclave then endorsed for the transfer of hill land records from the adjoining valley districts to their respective hill district headquarters and to maintain land records by respective Autonomous District Councils.
“Hill Land Survey or any other form of Survey in tribal areas should be discouraged until the local self-government institutions i.e., ADCs are fully empowered to maintain land records,” the tribal participants stated. They also demanded the state government should ensure that the original district boundary is restored and maintained on the basis of the villages’ land boundary recognized and recorded in the Manipur State Hill Peoples’(Administration) Regulation, 1947 .
According to the tribal leaders in the conclave, the superfluous provision of Section 1(2) of the MLR & LR Act, 1960 provided that the State government may, by notification in the official Gazette, extend the whole or any part of any section of this Act to any of the Hill Areas of Manipur also as may be specified in such notification” should be deleted from the Act.
The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 per se may not be applied in the Hill areas of Manipur State. Reserved and Protected Forests declared without the knowledge and consent of the scheduled tribe land owners may be returned to the rightful owners, the New Delhi meeting deliberated. “Government should rather provide Statutory Constitutional Protection of Tribal land, culture, customs, values and traditional institutions such as Chieftainship rather than piecemeal Amendments to the Manipur (Village Authority in Hill Areas), 1956 and Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council Act, 1971,” the participants said.
The conclave asserted that Moreh is a tribal/rural area and should be treated as such in all aspects. They said the proposed creation of Jiribam district should not include even an inch of tribal areas or any villages that falls under the ADCs of Churachandpur and Tamenglong. “Any part of hill districts which has been included under the Municipality/Panchayati Raj without the consent and approval of Hill Areas Committee (HAC) should be totally withdrawn,” the tribal leaders demanded.
The conclave further demanded that appropriate Constitutional safeguards should be extended as enshrined in the Indian Constitution so as to be uplifted and protected at par with our Tribal sisters and brothers of other North Eastern States. At the end of the programme, the conclave unanimously agreed to appoint Dr..LLam Khan Piangas the COPTAM co-ordinator of New Delhi.
COPTAM calls bandh, ADCs vexed with poll
Imphal, September 12 2012:While Committee for the Protection of Tribal Areas, Manipur (COPTAM) has called a 12-hour bandh on September 13 in all the hill districts of Manipur against the Panchayat election in some “tribal areas”, Autonomous District Councils have joined the tribal band- wagon.
The “core committee” of the Autnomous District Councils (ADCs) of Tamenglong, Chandel, Ukhrul and Senapati informed Newmai News Network that they seriously view the development while Committee for the Protection of Tribal areas, Manipur (COPTAM) and All Manipur Tribal Union (AMTU) have urged the people of these tribal villages to boycott the Panchayat election due tomorrow.
COPTAM general secretary Thangkam Lupheng who is currently camping in Delhi on tribal issues announced the decision to boycott the Panchayat election in the hills. “The State Government’s decision to introduce the Panchayati Raj in the hill districts is a mechanism to intrude into tribal land and administration,” Thangkam Lupheng stated. Echoing a similar view, AMTU general secretary Romeo Bungdon said, “We hereby urge the tribal villages which are illicitly included in the Panchayat election to abstain from polling and carry out the normal chores as usual as these villages are already included in the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs)” .
To top this, RK Kaba who is the Core Committee convenor of Chandel ADC, Ukhrul ADC, Tamenglong ADC and Senapati ADC said, “Inclusion of 15 villages of tribal area in the Zilla Parishad and Gram Panchayat constituencies in the coming election is a unilateral decision on the part of the State Government which is against the Constitution and anti-tribal policy” .
The Core Committee therefore requests the State Government to immediately revoke the orders in the interest of the tribal people. “In view of the above decision and orders of the government of Manipur, we fully endorse the 24-hour bandh called by the Kuki Inpi, Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO), COPTAM, Saikul Area Naga People Organisation (SANPO) and Vaiphei Chiefs Association,” said RK Kaba.
Striking a similar line, AMTU while giving their reasons for opposing the Panchayat election in “tribal areas”, has said the participation of the tribal people in that election will amount to urbanisation of the villages which would mean the destruction of the hill village structure. Meanwhile, according to COPTAM, even though the state cabinet had withdrawn Panchayati Raj administration in some parts of hill districts, the Panchayat system id still functioning in some areas. Regarding its bandh, the COPTAM warns anyone for the violation of the agitation.
The bandh will begin from 5 am and ends at 5 pm. These developments have come a day after certain groups had announced to call a 24-hour Sadar Hills bandh on Thursday, the day when the election to the Panchayat election will be held.
IMPHAL, Jul 23, 2014: The All Tribal Right Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPF) has threatened to clamp a total indefinite economic blockade on three National Highways if their demand is not fulfilled.
ATRPF has condemned the alleged indifferent attitude shown to the Hill Area Committee (HAC) by four Cabinet Ministers and 16 MLAs from the hills areas.
Under Constitution’s Article 371 (c) and subsequent order of June 20, 1972, issued by the then President VV Giri, as many as 13 items including protection of land and forest, marriage and divorce, development of village, regulation of Jhum cultivation, public health and all the economic plan within the plan allocation of hills area must come within the purview of HAC, said a press release.
And then Para 3, 4, & 6 of the said order empowered the Hill Area Committee so as to submit the view of the hill areas during the discussion of the Budget session, added the press release.
Since the inception of HAC, it has never carried out their duties in respect of Plan and Budget during the Assembly session, thereby leading to retardation in all spheres of socio-economic development of hill areas. District Council and its functioning are also absolutely within the purview of Hill Area Committee, the press release said.
However HAC has failed to move regarding devolution of power of 26 items in favour of ADC. Hill Area Committee has failed to carry out their statutory power in the Assembly and failed to move regarding devolution of power of 26 items in favour of ADC, which is provided under section 29 of (Hill Area) District Council Act 1971 and its amendment of 2008.
An open letter to Hon’ble Members of Hill Areas Committee (HAC)
As you are aware very well that Article 371 (c) of the Indian Constitution enshrined to constitute Hill Areas Committee within the Manipur Legislative Assembly without which there can be no Manipur Legislative Assembly, and that in exercise of the power conferred by Article 371 (C), the then, President of India Shri VV Giri made an Order, namely. The Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972, thereby devolved the right to consider and pass resolutions recommending to the Government of the State any legislation or executive actions effecting the Hill areas with respect to any scheduled matters. By virtue of the Provision of Article 371 (C) read with the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972, Scheduled Matters Item 1 to 13, it is the sovereign duty of the Hill Areas Committee to execute all the development and economic planning for the hill areas which you have miserably failed to clo so. Therefore, we asked for an explanation why you (HAC) should not be held responsible for all kinds of exploitation faced by the people of the Hill areas. As such, it is our humble letter to all the Hill MLAs to furnish us any step taken including 5-year and annual plans that have been prepared and discussed by the Hon’ble MLAs in connection with the scheduled matters of the said Order.
However, you have failed to exercise and take the benefit of the Article 371 (c) and the said Order of 1972 in the true sense of the term. You have failed to raise your voice against the finalization of the State Annual Budget/Plan 2014-15 which was presented by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on 15th July 2014 and the 12th Five year plans (2012-17) by the Assembly without the matter being referred to the Hill Areas Committee and also does not submit a separate Budget/Plans for the hills during the Assembly S6SS10H AS SUCn, the hill people have to live continuously without having our own budget and plans to live at the pleasure of the State Government, in fact as per article 371 (c) of the Constitution, the hill people have to live on/develop at the mercy and pleasure of the Hill Areas Committee with regard to the scheduled matters referred above. As such, the hill people have to wait another 5-year plan to see and enjoy our separate 5-year plan starting from 2018 because of your inefficiency and negligence. It is your sovereign duty So discuss and submit plans for the hill areas during this Assembly session, but you have remained silent without discharging your official duty As per mandatory provision of Para 6 of the Order dated 20th June 1972, issued by Shri VV Giri, the then President of India, the Plan (5 years and annual plan) shall not be finalized without taking the view of the HAC. However, recently, the annual plan 2014-15 has been finalized without taking the view of HAC which amount to nullity and void and not binding for which you (HAC) are answerable to the people of hill areas.
You have failed to protect when the Cabinet which is an incompetent authority approved a separate budget for the Autonomous District Councils by superseding your authority empowered by item 2 of the Scheduled Matters. And that you have failed to submit plans (5-year and annual plans) in respect of the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs), thereby making ADCs to become impotent And you have so far failed to submit plan and budget for the protection of lands and forests which is absolutely within the Scheduled Matters, thereby not promoting and also indirectly not allowing the economical growth of the hill people in particular and the whole State population in general. You have totally neglected to intervene in the establishment of Village Committees or Councils and their powers and any other matters relating to village administration including appointment of Village Secretary, Chowkidar, Clerk, Peon, payment of allowances or enumerations, etc.
That, every budget for every village in the hills must be reflected during the plan allocations to be submitted by the Hill Areas Committee and discussed in the Assembly. As per Provision of the Mampur Municipality Act, 1976 and The Manipur Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, they prepare their annual budget and submit to the Jila Parishad and the Jila Parishad will submit the Budget to the concerned authority and the concerned authority will present the budget before the assembly for discussion and approval. As such, they have their own budget including maintenance of office, salaries, electricity, water supply etc. As. per Article 371(C) and the subsequent Order, the Hill Areas Committee is to submit the budget of every village of the hill areas including office maintenance, salaries for Secretaries, Peon, Chawkidar and sitting allowances of the village authority to the Assembly for approval. However, the HAC fails to do so. That, you being the hon’ble members of HAC representing the hill people, it is your primary duty to prepare plan, scheme, budget annually and submit before the Assembly for discussion in respect of every items in the scheduled matters. Surprisingly, you have failed to do so, for which you are answerable to the people. We, therefore, appeal to all the hon’ble members of HAC to nullify the annual budget for 2014-15 presented in the current assembly on 15th July 2014 by Shri. Ibobi Singh, without following the mandatory procedures and rules.
In the light of the facts and the circumstances cited above, we have come to the conclusion without any hesitation that it is not the Centre Government or the State Government of Manipur who exploit and deprive the rights of the hill people. It is the hon’ble members of the HAC who are exploiting, neglecting and depriving the rights of the hill people We are not asking any new things from the Government but only to implement the provision of Article 371 (C) of the Constitution and the Order of Hill Area Committee of the Manipur Legislative Assembly which was enforced since June 20, 1972. In fact, the benefit of the mandatory provision of Article 371(C) and the said Order along with the scheduled matters have not been extended in the hill areas even after lapsed of more than 40 years due to inefficiency and negligence of the hoifble members of HAC. Now, therefore, if you (HAC) failed to settle the matter we will be compelled to take action by resorting to any form of agitation in the hill areas indefinitely.
M. Tolkham Maring
President, Tribal Youth Council, Manipur
ATSUM submits memo to Guv on various tribal issues
Kangpokpi, July 19 2014 : Drawing attention of the state government towards various issues related to the tribal people in Manipur, All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) has submitted a memorandum to the state Governor today.
The memorandum stated that tribal constitute about 43% of the total population of Manipur as per 2013 census report and occupy 93% of the total geographical area.
However, the percentage of tribal employees in the state government is a dismal with 18% only which ought to be 31% as per latest reservation policy of the state government, it added.
The memorandum signed by ATSUM president Emboi Serto and Secretary Marahang Ngiimai said that most important Central and State Institutes including RIMS, MU, CAU, JNIMS, SAI, MIT, IIIT, Khuman Lampak Sports complex etc are all located in the two Imphal districts only.
According to the tribal student apex body, reservation for SC/STs has been a litigious issue in the state since its inception in 1972.The Manipur Reservation of Vacancies in Post and Services (for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) ACT 1976 has been kept inoperative for one reason or the other.
After much persuasion by ATSUM, a Special Assembly of the Manipur Legislative Assembly was held from 15-18 September, 2006 to introduce and pass the Amendment Bill, the memorandum recalled.
However, some sections and clauses which are controversial, unsatisfactory and harmful for the tribal’s interest are inserted in the Bill, it alleged, saying the insertion of a new clause ‘ACTION TAKEN IN GOOD FAITH’ in the 2007 Bill under Section 18A and 18B is not in the original 1976 Act nor in the ‘proposed’ 2006 Bill.
ATSUM asked the intended meaning of ‘GOOD FAITH’ and wondered the very purpose of having a law if the offenders are to be exempted ‘in good faith’ or ‘intend to be done under the Act’ .
A particular clause was added in the Rule Book by the department officials ‘in good faith’ by saying that, “In the event of ST candidates not in the position to fill their reserved seats, the same can go to SC or General Candidates” asserted ATSUM.
It also said that the year this clause was inserted, only 1 ST candidate was found to have qualified the written test and the remaining 17 seats were about to be allotted to general candidates.
ATSUM took this matter to the streets, the media and finally to the Supreme Court of India.
The state government has somehow managed to pushed through the controversial Bill in 2007 but the same is yet to practically inoperative because of non-approval of the said Reservation Rules.
Moreover, the draft Rules which is practically followed at present conventionally has shifted to 200 Roster instead of the then 100 Point Roster systems pointed out ATSUM in the memorandum.
ATSUM further pointed out that the previous 100 Point Roster put ST in Sl.No.1 and SC in No.4 whereas in the new ’200 Point Roster’ put ST and SC in Sl.No.4 and 53 respectively while adding that this practice in one way may be justified but is very unfair considering that Reservation policy is introduced in our country to uplift the lower sections of the society to the level of the general categories.
No Reservation policy or Roster system is ever followed in recruitment on Contract, Adhoc or Part Time basis, ATSUM alleged adding that due to this unfair practice, more than 20000 state government jobs/posts meant for the STs of the state are being occupied by general (Meiteis) .
The brunt of the imbalanced Reservation Policy in Manipur has been witnessed in Manipur University which was converted to Central University a few years back.
The University authority who never take serious note of the conventionally practiced state Reservation policy suddenly become serious with the Central Reservation Policy that gives only 7.5 % to the STs and 15.5% to SCs.
ATSUM demanded immediate intervention of the Governor in the introduction of the rules of Manipur Reservation of Vacancies in Post and Services (for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) ACT 1976 .
Regarding Hill Areas Committee in the state, ATSUM pointed out the Constitution of India has specially made this institution powerful so that the marginalized Tribal people and their interest will be looked into with special care.
While alleging that Manipur Hill Area Committee is more or less like a government department, ATSUM demanded that the Hill Area Committee functions properly and fearlessly.
Let the chairman of Hill Area Committee be always from the opposition not from the ruling party, asserted ATSUM.
The tribal student body also urged the state government to follow the guidelines of the Planning Commission and Implement Tribal Sub Plan in the state in Toto.
While urging the state Government to materialize its promise of delegating power to the ADC, ATSUM maintained that after more than 20 years, elections to the District Councils are conducted with stiff opposition from the Nagas.
The members of ADCs are mostly selected not elected so there is no democracy in the real sense of the term in the hills, it said.
ATSUM also sought that the two separate administrations of Civil administration and police administration must be under one administration.