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.