Manipur does not suppress Naga rights, says minister

Manipur government today termed as "false and unfounded" the allegation by Naga civil society groups that it was suppressing the rights of Nagas.

Updated: Jun 18, 2010, 00:02 AM IST

New Delhi: Manipur government today termed
as "false and unfounded" the allegation by Naga civil society
groups that it was suppressing the rights of Nagas.

"While the Naga Students Federation (NSF) and the All
Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM) claimed that the
Autonomous District Council Act suppresses the tribal rights,
the reality is however completely opposite," Manipur
government spokesman and cabinet minister N Biren told
reporters here.

Biren said, "Manipur government could not do anything
directly or independently in regard to framing any policies
of tribals or hill districts as it is not permitted by the
Constitution of India.

"The Article 371 (C) of the Constitution provided a
special provision for the five hill districts of Manipur
inhabited by tribals like Nagas, Kukis, Paites, Hmras, Mizo,
Kom and Chiru."

He further said as per rules the state government cannot
do anything in hill districts unless the policy framed by the
government is cleared by the Hills Areas Committee (HAC)
comprising 20 elected tribal MLAs.

Even the state assembly cannot pass a bill relating to
hill districts unless it is cleared by the HAC, he added.

PTI