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Manipur tribal women protest in Delhi, says ‘Separate administration is the only solution’

Tribal women from the violent northeastern state of Manipur protested at Jantar Mantar on Thursday, calling for a “separate administration” for the state’s hilly districts. The protesters said that the “only solution” to ensuring peace, prosperity, and a balance of power for the tribal group in the area was a separate administration led by indigenous members.

‘We gathered here in solidarity with the violence-hit people. We hope violence shall end as soon as possible. As Indian citizens, we have the right to seek a separate administration. We want the tribal community people to govern us,’ a spokesperson for the tribal women’s group, Mercy, said.

The national government was also requested by her to make sure that “all relief materials and efforts shall reach the needy in hilly tribal areas too.”

The majority of the relief supplies are being sent to the airport, but those who reside in Manipur’s hilly regions lack direct access to it, she claimed.

Grace, another tribe representative, added, ‘A separate administration will help improve the situation, and peace will prevail in the valley and the hills.’

The community, she continued, has the ‘right to demand representation’ within the parameters of the Indian Constitution.

Ten Kuki-Zomi MLAs from Manipur wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the meantime to request the formation of positions comparable to those of the chief secretary and director-general of police (DGP). These positions, according to the MLAs, would provide ‘efficient administration’ in the five hill districts of Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Chandel, Tengnoupal, and Pherzawl.

The MLAs made the case that these positions were required for the ‘efficient administration’ of tribal communities’ home regions, which were now totally cut off from the capital, Imphal, as a result of the ongoing conflict.


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