CSOs deride conduct of delimitation amid pending cases

IMPHAL, 7th Jul: Five civil society organisations (CSOs), namely PANDM, IPSA, ACOAM-Lup, IPAK and KSA have derided the conduct of delimitation process in the state despite the pending PIL and contempt cases in courts, while asserting that it is a step against the people’s wishes and will oppose it tooth and nail.
According to a joint release of the CSOs, as soon as the Union government announced conduct of the delimitation process for Manipur’s parliamentary and assembly constituencies in the gazette notification of February 28, people of the state started protesting against it.
CSOs are not against the delimitation process but are protesting as it is will done based on the controversial 2001 census report, the joint release noted.
The bodies pointed out that when the 2001 census report come out, people of the state immediately rejected it as it was filled with discrepancies. For example, if the report was to be believed a woman can bore four and half children in one year. The average growth rate of population for all India stood at 21.36 per cent, but in case of Manipur valley the average growth rate was 18 per cent. But if we see the average growth rate of nine sub-divisions of Mao-Maram, Paomata, Purul, Saitu-Gamphazol, Chakpikarong, Moreh, Machi, Chandel Headquarters and Kasom Khullen under the three hill districts of Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel it climbed up to 169 per cent which is next to impossible, it claimed.
CSOs noted that seeing the discrepancies, in 2005 various political parties filed a PIL at Gauhati High Court which on January 19, 2007 passed a judgement ordering re-conduct of the census in the said sub-divisions. But despite the order, Delimitation Commission plans to take up delimitation exercise in Manipur and other states. So, in view of this a contempt case was filed by CPI and CPI (M) against Government of India which is now underway. Meanwhile, High Court of Manipur has admitted the PIL filed by the CSOs against the Union government officials regarding the delimitation process, it added.
CSOs further asserted that amidst these pending legal proceedings, the hurried manner in which the state’s chief electoral officer under the Delimitation Commission’s order has sent letters to respective DCs on July 2 to furnish list of revenue villages under their jurisdiction based on 2001 census by July 7 should be immediately stopped.
If the order of the Delimitation Commission is not ceased at once, it will lead to intense agitation from the people, the joint release forewarned, while adding that as it has already submitted a memorandum to the chief minister on June 22 to take a decision in this regard in the cabinet meeting. It will be better that instead of adding fuel to the fire, the government should take notice of the public’s mood, the joint release added.

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