ATSUM urges Guv to block MAPLM (P&F) Bill, 2018

CORRESPONDENT KANGPOKPI, 1st Mar: All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) Thursday submitted a memorandum to Governor Dr Najma Heptullah urging her not to give assent to the Manipur Agricultural Produce and Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2018, which it termed as controversial.

The memorandum signed by ATSUM general secretary Seiboi Haokip alleged that the Bill was passed by the state assembly without due process of law on February 23. Accusing the government of violating the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Manipur Legislative Assembly, the student body appealed for intervention from the Governor in this regard.

Maintaining that the land in hill areas of the state is protected by Article 300A and 371C in consonance with Article 21 of the Constitution of India, ATSUM stated that the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960 is not extended in the hill areas and as such delivery or transferring by the DCs concerned under Section 14 of the ‘controversial’ Bill is unconstitutional.

Stating that reasonable time of about three months must be given in favour of HAC for consideration and discussion before passing the bill, ATSUM maintained that the state government failed to do so thereby violating the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee) Order, 1972.

Transfer of tribal land by the state government is prohibited by 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, it contended.

Citing 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”, ATSUM maintained that the Bill violates the law and threatens the existence of tribal community.

It contended that the Bill amounts to forceful seizure of tribal land and excessive power vested to the DCs within the jurisdiction of ADCs for setting up of market areas is also against the ADC Act, 1971 and Rules, 1972.

ATSUM further maintained that passing of such ‘controversial Anti-Tribal’ Bill shall lead to unrest in the state and curtail democratic values of our country. It also stated that declaring of the whole state as one single unified market area contradicts the laws and regulations while terming it as an indirect attempt to loot tribal lands. Moreover, the Bill recognises the poor tribal farmers as a mere producers and it will eventually make the tribal foreigners in their own land, it added.

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