Four Manipur ex-MLAs meet Rijiju on three bills

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Four former legislators of opposition Naga People’s Front on Friday met union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and urged for his intervention to ensure no presidential assent to three bills passed by the assembly.

The Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015; The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment Bill), 2015; and The Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment Bill) 2015 were passed by the Manipur assembly on August 31, 2015, amid widespread protests by several tribal organisations of the state.

The protesters termed these bills “anti-tribals” and said they were not consulted during drafting of the bill.

“The drafting committee formed by the assembly did not have any tribal MLA as member. Also, it is mandatory to consult the Hill Area Committee before passing any bill affecting hilly or tribal areas, which too was not done,” said L. Dikho, former MLA from Mao, who resigned after the bills were passed in the assembly.

Naga People’s Front state president Awangbow Newmai said: “We want the central government to intervene and convince the president against giving his assent to these bills.”

Apart from Dikho, legislators S.T. Victor Nunghlung, Samuel Risom and V. Alexander Pao resigned after nine tribals were police killed while protesting against the passing of the three bills.

–IANS

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