ATSUM resorts to closure of govt offices in hill districts


IMPHAL, Feb 4 : All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) has resorted to closure of government institutions in all the five hill districts of Manipur in view of the “adamant and lackadaisical attitude and approach” of the Manipur government on various legitimate grievances of the apex tribal students’ body.
The five hill districts are Tamenglong, Senapati, Churachandpur, Ukhrul and Chandel.
A statement issued by the Union said that with no positive response on the part of the State government inspite of repeated reminders, ATSUM has resorted to closure of government institutions in all the hill districts of the State.
ATSUM has been demanding rectification on issues like inadvertent evading of the Rules of the Manipur Reservation of Vacancies in Post and Service (for SC and ST) Act, 2007 and its objection to 200 point roster as against the earlier 100 points. Extension of the service of contract basis teachers in the hill districts for one academic year, discrimination of STs in the promotion of Leading Firemen, the issue of chief engineer in Public Health Education Department (PHED) etc.
It has also been demanding for the revocation of the State cabinet decision of posting senior Manipur Civil Service officer as executive director of DRDA without due consultation with Hill Areas Committee of the State assembly. It has termed the cabinet decision as devoid of any “rationality and justification” and has demanded for reverting back to the earlier way wherein the concerned deputy commissioner of the district was the executive director as prescribed under the Central guidelines.
ATSUM has also demanded review of the State government’s decision to introduce the new school academic calendar in the hill districts of Manipur. The introduction of new academic calendar of the State due to mere closure of schools in the valley districts is not acceptable. The Hills will not follow the new academic calendar under any circumstances, said the tribal body. 
The recruitment of SOs in MSRRDA of RD & PR department in total contravention to the convention practiced by the State government regarding reservation is not acceptable to the tribal people, it said, adding that the reply coming from the concerned minister as against clarification sought to that effect lacked logic and “we condemn in highest level”. It has demanded that either the posts are filled with due representation of the tribals or terminate the whole process and recruit new SOs with proper representation.  
On issues such as recruitment and promotion of under secretary and committee officers in the Manipur assembly secretariat, staffs in engineering cell of the department of school education and in the promotion of leading firemen to SO under fire services, ATSUM has alleged that these recruitments and promotions are done against the State’s reservation norms and guidelines and has demanded cancellation or rectification with due representation of the tribals. The non accomplishment of reservation rules is construed as an insult to the Act as well as to the deserving communities in question, it said.
ATSUM will not be lying low until our legitimate demands are met, the statement said, instead, it will continue to take various forms of agitation at its disposal for which the State government will be solely responsible.
It has asked all the deputy commissioners in the hill districts and senior Manipur Civil Service officers who are posted as executive director of DRDA to refrain from taking charge of the offices and not to hurt the already wounded sentiments of the tribal peoples. It has also appealed the general population to understand its grievances and support its cause.


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