No breakthrough with tribal JAC

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No breakthrough with tribal JAC
Govt non-committal on fresh demands put up by JAC

Newmai News Network - IMPHAL | Apr 10

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The second round of talks between Joint Action Committee against Anti-Tribal Bills (JAC-AATB) and the state government here ended without any apparent breakthrough with no date set for a later meeting.

The talks between the JAC and the government at the Chief Minister's secretariat lasted for nearly three hours. "The talks ended with no major breakthrough on the JAC's charter of demands," a reliable source said, adding uncertainty prevails over the next round of meeting between the JAC and the government.

It said that some of the demands of the JAC are "Constitutional safeguard of the tribal territory, restoration of the MLR and LR Act of 1960 to its original status and justice for the martyrs and injured".

A 13-member delegation of the JAC took part in the meeting in which the state government was represented by the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues along with Chief Secretary Oinam Nabakishore Singh and DGP of Manipur Police, LM Khaute.

"The talks ended without an agreement," a JAC leader told journalists after coming out of the meeting hall, who refused to comment further. The first round of meeting between the two sides was held on April 7.

It may be mentioned that on August 31, 2015, the State Assembly passed three bills which became contentious bills since. The tribal people have termed the bills 'anti-tribal."

Nine protesters were killed and many injured when violence broke in Churachandpur district following the passing of the bills.

Of the nine bodies, eight are still lying unclaimed in the Churachandpur District Hospital mortuary as the deadlock has persisted over the issues including burial of the bodies.

Our Staff Reporter adds: The deadlock has been continuing since long, as the JAC refused to talk to the previous government. It is only when the Nongthombam Biren led BJP alliance made overtures the Anti tribal JAC had relented and agreed to sit down for talks.

Today is the second time that the JAC had met the government representatives.

Some of the demands put in by the JAC are ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 Lakhs each for the dead and Rs one lakh each for the injured, creation of Lamka district and extension of 6th schedule in the hill areas, sources said.

The tentative date of the next round of talks with the anti-tribal bill JAC is not yet known, as top government officials remain non-committal to the issues brought up by the JAC.