The Manipur government on Wednesday released five members of the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur, who were arrested from Imphal last week for calling a total shutdown in the region.
Manipur Tribal Affairs and Hills minister Letpao Haokip told NorthEast Live that the decision was taken after the state government reached an agreement with the students’ body to lift the economic blockade in the region.
Tension has been brewing in Manipur since the N Biren Singh-led Bharatiya Janata Party government introduced the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council 6th and 7th Amendment Bills, 2022, in the state Assembly on August 2. The Bills were not initially part of the agenda of the House on that day.
The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur, however, had sought the introduction of the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill recommended by the Hill Areas Committee in August last year. This proposed law seeks greater financial and administrative autonomy for the hill areas to ensure that they are able to develop at par with the Imphal Valley region of the state.
For several decades, citizens in hill areas of Manipur have alleged that they have faced administrative neglect as compared to those who stay in the Valley.
On August 2, hours after the contentious Bill was tabled in the state…