Talks Fail Between JAC and Manipur Govt, Funeral for 'Tribal Martyrs' Postponed
Protests against land bills in Manipur earlier in which 8 persons were killed
NEW DELHI: Talks between the Manipur government and the Joint Action Committee of Churachandpur to resolve the impasse over the three controversial land bills have failed. The meeting was held at the residence of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi.
The funeral for the eight protestors killed in police firing has, as a result, been further postponed.
The two hour long talks which started around 4pm and concluded around 6pm, could not bring a positive outcome. The JAC remained adamant on the demands, including the withdrawal of the bills or the insertion of a clause that the bills will not affect the hill areas; and the inclusion of a central representative in the dialogue between the JAC and the Manipur government.
The government delegation was led by the Chief Minister and included the entire council of ministers except for the tribal ministers, whereas a 16-member strong JAC team was led by its chief convenor Mangchinkhup.
Speaking to The Citizen, Chief Convenor Mangchinkhup, JAC said, “Our demands remains the same. We are not adamant but we are firm. Our demands are justified and we want the government to pay heed that is it. It is not that we are asking for something beyond their capacity.”
Sources said during the meeting, the Chief Minister informed the JAC representatives that the government has been holding joint consultative meetings with several tribal leaders to bring a permanent solution regarding the turmoil in the hill districts particularly in Churachandpur since the passing of the three bills.
According to Mangchinkhup, the JAC had submitted their three-point charter of demand to the government on November 9, and had appealed the State government to convey a special Assembly session and take a decision that the three bills will not affect the hill areas.
He said on December 24, the JAC had conveyed a joint consultative meeting with various organisations and again resolved to demand the government to call a special Assembly session and withdraw the three bills or insert a clause that the bills will not affect the hill areas and to include a representative of the Centre in the talks.
He said at this the Chief Minister has urged the JAC representatives to consult eminent judges or advocates and to submit in written the areas in the bills which can adversely affect the hill areas and that the government of Manipur will never have a tripartite talk with any JAC by including representatives of the Centre during talks, however, any JAC can directly approach the Centre on any issue.