Nagaland CM slams passing of 'anti-tribal' bills in Manipur

| Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 22:15
First Published |

Zeliang terms it "unconstitutional" | Photo: IANS

Imphal: Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang on Sunday flayed the Manipur government for passing three "anti-tribal" bills in the assembly, and termed it "unconstitutional".
At a public meeting in Ukhrul district of Manipur in connection with the Naga seed-sowing festival Lui Ngai Ni, he said: "The Congress government had done so with an eye to the votes from the valley people in the 2017 assembly elections. The bills were passed without knowing the history of the Nagas."
Meanwhile, Manipur's Congress legislator N. Biren said some organisations invited the Nagaland chief minister to the function which only showed the mistrust and disunity among the people of Manipur.
"In the hills in Manipur, there is no democracy since voters are arm-twisted to vote for the candidates projected by certain groups," he said.
Zeliang said the four legislators of the Naga People's Front in the Manipur assembly have resigned in protest against the passing of the bills. However, the speaker has not acted yet on the resignations.
Violence erupted following the Manipur government's adoption on August 31, 2015 of three landmark bills -- Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (seventh amendment) Bill 2015, and Manipur Shops and Establishment (second amendment) Bill 2015. The bills are pending with the president.
Houses, properties of ministers and legislators were burned down by a frenzied mob. Police opened fire at protesters, and eight people were killed. One youth died in a road accident during the protests.
On the festival, he said it teaches people to work harder, and will also help develop tourism.
"The Naga bodies should organise a festival which will encompass all Nagas spread in Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh," he said.
He exhorted the people to support the attempts by the central government to bring about a peaceful solution to the Naga problems.
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