STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 3rd May: JCILPS convener Arjun Telheiba has suggested that before the introduction of a new bill to protect the indigenous communities settling in Manipur during the monsoon session as announced by Chief Minister N Biren last month, opportunity must be given to all stake holders and experts from both the hills and valley to share their opinions and add or delete resolutions to the Bill as they see fit.
Speaking to media persons at JCILPS office on Thursday, Arjun Telheiba appreciated CM Biren's announcement for introducing a new bill during the upcoming monsoon session of the Assembly.
However, he asserted that opportunities must be provided to stakeholders and experts from both the hills and valley to express their opinions so as to avoid the possibility of the bill being rejected again like the last one. The time to discuss the Bill must be given before the end of May, he added.
Telheiba then said that JCILPS would be keeping a close watch on maintaining hygienic conditions in and around the three Ima markets, and added that drives would be conducted to remove the street vendors operating along the stairways of the markets. Law-breakers would not be tolerated, he added.
The shops set up along the alleys of Thangal Bazar would also be kept under the purview of JCILPS. The closely packed shops, which sell apparels and other items favoured by young girls and women, are becoming a zone for impending morally degrading activities day by day. The narrow alleys are also a hot zone for drug dealings and other illegal business, the convener continued.
As it is questionable as how these shops were able to get licences, JCILPS would be conducting surprise raids. The authorities concerned must also take up steps to relocate these shops. JCILPS will also be launching agitations against the shopkeepers. However it is to be noted that JCILPS' agitations are in no way 'Anti-Mayang'. This is for the benefit of all including the shopkeepers, he contended.
Regarding that statement made by MAHUD minister seeking a month's time for relocating the fruits stalls near Bhairodan school, Telheiba said that it is a good decision on part of the government but expressed dissatisfaction over the Minister's statement which said that the students' wing lacked respect for laws of the land.
He said that the state leaders are the ones who lack respect and knowledge as licences were given to the vendors when there were no IMC plots in the area.
The claim that the then councillors were the ones who had given the licences lack authenticity, Telheiba asserted.
Meanwhile, supporting the agitation launched by JCILPS for safeguarding the indigenes and the demand for shifting of fruit selling vendors to a suitable place from the footpath, local bodies of Uripok namely Naharol Chaokhathanba Kanglup and Kangleipak Thoupang Lup have slammed the government for protecting the non-locals who violated the norms of IMC.
A statement issued by its secretary H Bharat Meitei, contended that the state police harassed the poor street vendors who sell vegetables and fruits but they protected the non-locals who sell fruits illegally on the footpath. Asking if the government is using the police personnel only for suppressing the poor indigenous people, Bharat questioned the rationale behind apathy towards the local people.
Pointing out that influx of migrant workers in the state is increasing day by day, he urged the people of Nagamapal, Uripok, Sagolband to stop leashing rooms to non-locals. In case of any untoward incident, the landowners should be held responsible.
Meanwhile, the organisation also strongly decried the government’s inaction to shift the Ram Krishna Mission School from Uripok and re-establish the old Tondonsana High School despite several perusal and demands.
While demanding the government to review its decision of handing over the property of Tondonsana High School to Ram Krishna Mission authority, Bharat declared that both Naharol Chaokhathanba Kanglup and Kangleipak Thoupang Lup will extend support to JCILPS when called upon for the safeguarding of indigenous people. He further urged all CSOs and Meira Paibi associations to endorse the demands of JCILPS.