IMPHAL, Dec 1 (NNN): The Ex-ADC Members’ Forum, Manipur (EAMFM) has accused the “Manipur government of trying to suppress the political rights of the tribal people by withholding the elections to the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in one pretext or the other”.
In a statement on Thursday, the Forum said that it has been “perturbed by the indifferent attitude of the state government towards the ADCs in Manipur. “To be clear, the ADCs are grass-root level political institutions which cannot be suppressed and superseded by bureaucratic institution”, the forum also said. It also reminded the state government that elections to the ADCs have been put on hold for two years now. “Non-holding of the democratic process (of election) is a clear deprivation of constitutional and democratic rights of the tribal people,” the statement also said.
The EAMFM further said that, while the tribal people are continuously demanding for empowerment of the ADCs, the state government has been trying its best to suppress the political rights of the tribal people by withholding the ADC elections on one pretext or the other. “Suppression of democratic rights and superseding political institutions by a bureaucratic institution is something which is unheard of in the democratic history of the country,” it added.
The forum stated, “To make the matter worse, the state government has been trying to fill up the vacant posts under the ADCs in the absence of the elected ADC governments”. It further said that suppression of a democratic process of people’s participation, whereby taking undue chance of this “intentional suppression by the state government” is an outright deprivation of the rights of tribal people. The Forum added that the support extended to the government in this regard by some tribal organizations or individuals is something which they will surely regret for their actions against tribal rights and interests.
Therefore, this forum appealed to all tribal apex bodies, civil society organizations and student organizations to stand up for the rights of the tribal people by ensuring that the ADC elections are held at the earliest. The Forum also appealed to the tribal organisations “to speak up against the injustices done to the tribal political institutions (ADCs) and to be vigilant of the government’s ‘divide and rule’ policy in order to attain a secured political future for the tribal people of Manipur”.