Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by SPN Editor
The United Naga Council (UNC) said that it will oppose the conduct of “separate ADC elections in the new districts under any circumstances.” Further, the UNC meeting “outrightly rejected the 6th and 7th Amendment of the Manipur(Hill Areas) District Council Bill, 2022.”
However, the Manipur government has resolved to conduct ADC elections in the four new districts – Kamjong, Noney, Tengnoupal and Pherzawl. The move was taken as per the wishes of the Demand Committee on Creation of Autonomous District Councils (DCCADCs) of four newly created districts to hold elections.
Ironically, the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) also agitated and protested against the delay in the ADC elections. Last year, ATSUM members have closed government offices and banks in the hill areas in protest against the state government’s failure to announce the schedule for the election to the Autonomous District Council (ADC).
Meanwhile, the presidential meeting of the United Naga Council (UNC) held at Imphal on September 7 reiterated demands for the rollback of the newly created districts in Manipur.
In a statement, the UNC said, “Today’s United Naga Council (UNC) emergency presidential council meeting held in Imphal reiterated the position of the Naga people on newly created districts of December 8, 2016 and it also outrightly rejected the 6th and 7th Amendment of the Manipur(Hill Areas) District Council Bill, 2022.” In regards to the creation of new district(s), the UNC said that the Government of Manipur and the Naga people have signed 4 Memoranda of Understandings(MoUs) on December 14, 1981, November 10, 1992, September 27, 1996 and June 23, 1998 and also the intervention of the Government of India on November 24, 2011 that all stakeholders including Naga body(s) who would be affected by such creation would be consulted.
The spirit of signing the MoUs and the intervention of the Government of India is that the “Naga people would be consulted while creating new district(s).” While Nagas are upholding the MoUs and respecting the intervention of the Government of India, the UNC alleged that the Government of Manipur treacherously created 7 new districts on December 8, 2016. In response, a ‘Naga Consultative Meet’ was held on December 12, 2016 at Tahamzam (Senapati) and resolved to “roll back newly created 7 districts.”
In this connection, the UNC said that the Naga people imposed 139 days of economic blockade. The UNC lifted the economic blockade in the meeting of ‘tripartite talk’ among the Government of India, the Government of Manipur and the representatives of United Naga Council on March 19, 2017 at Senapati headquarters after agreeing that “the grievances of the United Naga Council which led to the imposition of economic blockade by them was recognized as there was no adherence to the four Memoranda of Understanding and the Government of India’s assurance on the matter.
The Government of Manipur agrees to start consultation with all stakeholders to redress the same.” Since then, there have been 9 rounds of inconclusive ‘tripartite talks’ at a political level, the UNC also said.
“Therefore, the decision of the UNC taken on December 12, 2016 to roll back the newly created districts still stands. And also, UNC will oppose the conduct of separate ADC elections in the newly created districts under any circumstances,” the UNC added.