CHURACHANDPUR, Sept 22 - Ashok Prasad, Special Secretary, Internal Security, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India, who was here to take stock of the prevailing situation in Manipur, particularly in Churachandpur district headquarter, interacted with key functionaries of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) constituted against three Bills passed by the Manipur Assembly on August 31. He also addressed a public meeting in the hill town, about 70 km south of Imphal on Tuesday.
In his speech at Lamka ground, Prasad, the first Central government official visiting the trouble-torn town after August 31 and September 1 protests left 9 persons dead, said, “We’re facing a situation from which we can move forward only with the help and sympathetic participation of all the stakeholders.”
Later speaking to mediapersons after holding a meeting with the JAC functionaries at KKL Complex in the town, Prasad said, “I’ve interacted with the people and they have given me suggestions that I have noted it down to appraise the same to the Central Government to see a positive movement.”
Accompanied by Additional DGP LM Khoute, the MHA official also visited the Churachandpur district hospital where they were welcomed warmly by the women folks and JAC functionaries at Kangvai area along the Imphal-Churachandpur route.
Chief convenor of JAC Churachandpur H Mangchinkhup informed mediapersons that the Committee has spelled out the demands to the Central official which will be conveyed to the Central authority. “We are hopeful of a positive outcome,” he added.
The JAC had been demanding repeal of the three Bills, convention of a special Assembly within September and passage of another Bill for exclusion of areas under the six autonomous district councils of Manipur, etc., claiming that the Bills affect the interest of the people in the hill areas.
It may be mentioned here that the State Government had recently informed that the Bills will not affect the interest of the people in the hills. The Government also stated that it is open to suggestions from all stakeholders for any deletion, amendment, insertion, modification of any provisions in the Bills and ensure that the rights of all are protected.
The Bills in question are Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 and Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015.
Newmai News added: Leaders of the United Naga Council (UNC) also met Prasad and urged him to intervene immediately on the recently passed Bills and Resolutions in the Manipur Assembly.
“The Naga tribals and the Meitei kingdom don’t share common origin and history, having separate identities, culture, tradition and time-honoured institutions. The Nagas have been living … free from internal and external forces since time immemorial. Our land is unique and we have been made a part of Manipur not through the conquest of Meitei Maharajah nor by our consent,” the UNC said in a press release.