Imphal: United Committee Manipur (UCM) has stressed that they are ready to fight any demand or agitations that may disrupt the integrity of the state.

This statement comes a day after the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) imposed a 24-hour total shutdown across the hill districts in the state following a meeting with Chief Minister N Biren Singh failed to reach any solution with regards to the HAC recommended Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill 2021.

“We will support any movement or proposal that will strengthen the unity of the state but we will stand firmly against any agitation or demand which challenges its integrity,” said UCM.

In a press statement, UCM secretary IPR Leisemba Lamaba said the six Autonomous District Councils were constituted on February 14, 1972, after the Government of India passed the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Act 1971 to empower local self governance.

Since then, the ADCs have been managing the properties both movable and immovable, agriculture, tribal development, animal husbandry, village planning, forest except reserve forest under the local self-governance model, stated the UCM.

It further stated that the state government also established the Hill Areas Committee under the Manipur Legislative Assembly to monitor administration of the hill areas of the state in 1972.

However, the UCM alleged, some individuals are indulging in divisive policy and making demands that create animosity among the communities. It further asked whether the people of the state will continue to trust if the state government is seemingly run by two parallel governments.

According to the UCM, some politicians in Manipur have been using the people as a tool for their vested interests, while adding that they are “closely monitoring those elected members”.

It further went on to state that despite the HAC pressing the state government to pass the proposed Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill 2021 in the House, none of the HAC members are yet to make any statement regarding the white paper that compared the development funds spent in the hill districts and the actual expenditure of the state as a whole for the last 10 years.

They have not even proposed a discussion in the House, the UCM said.

Reiterating their stand on strengthening the unity of the state, the UCM added that none of the Manipuris would object to any recommendation that will uplift the state as a whole.

According to the HAC, the Bill under Article 371 (C) of the Indian Constitution of 1972 asserts that the Hill Area Committee can recommend any legislation or executive action concerning the scheduled matters. As per the copy of the Bill, HAC and the Autonomous District Councils would gain more autonomy concerning the administration and management of the hills.

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