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Three-day bandh in Manipur hill districts

A three-day bandh has been called in the hill districts of Manipur by a local committee from tomorrow night in protest against the government`s proposal to hold elections to autonomous district councils.



Imphal: A three-day bandh has been called
in the hill districts of Manipur by a local committee from
tomorrow night in protest against the government`s proposal to
hold elections to autonomous district councils -- a move that
has thrown up a sharp division between various ethnic groups.

In a statement here today, the Manipur Tribal Joint Action
Committee (JAC) against election under unwanted district
council Act said they would oppose the proposed elections at
any cost since not enough monetary power was given to the
district councils.

The statement also asked the tribal MLAs and ministers to
resign from their respective posts without further delay.

Official sources said notification for the first phase
elections to three autonomous district councils of Sadar
Hills, Chandel and Churachandpur was issued on April 26 and
the last date for filing nomination papers was fixed on May 3.

Sources however, denied the charges levelled against the
government by some hill-based organisations and pointed out
that enough monetary power was given to the district councils.

Reports from the hill districts said the Manipur hills
were sharply divided over the issue of elections.

While some districts, particularly Kuki-Chin-Mizo
group-settled areas, wanted to hold elections, Naga-inhabited
areas were opposed to it.

Sources said notification for the second phase elections
to Naga-settled areas of Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Senapati would
soon be issued.

The All Naga Students` Association Manipur (ANSAM)
supported by United Naga Council (UNC) had launched indefinite
national highway blockade a week ago causing inconvenience to
the people in the state, reports said.

ANSAM and UNC had said they would do their best to oppose
the elections.

Reports said the two national highways--Imphal-Dimapur no.
39 and Imphal-Jiribam no 53-- are the main `life lines` for
land-locked Manipur.

Various social organisations have appealed to the ANSAM
and UNC to call off the blockade and launch other agitations
which would not affect the general population.

PTI

From Zee News

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