Pothashang News Service: Imphal, April 7, 2018: Student bodies, All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur, Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur, Apunba Ireipakki Maheiroi Sinpanglup, Kangleipak Students’ Organisation and All Naga Students’ Association Manipur demanded to appoint a deserving native officer as chief secretary.
The student bodies question the government why officers from outside the state are preferred for the chief secretary’s post while the state has potential senior officers suitable for the post.
A sit-in was staged to press their demand in Imphal.
Joseph Mar, leader of ATSUM said, “We are not questioning on the capacity of the officers from outside the state. While there is a big issue of the people struggling for implementation of Inner Line Permit system in the state, the government keeps aside the sentiment of the people. We condemn avoidance of our native officers by giving preference to outsiders. This needs to be changed, he added.
The government appeals the people to talk with the government before taking up any agitation. We sought for appointments to talk with the government. However, there has been no answer so far, said Joseph
He appealed not to humiliate the IAS officers of the Manipur’s native people.
Nameirakpam Edison Meitei, vice-president, DESAM, said it has been a demand by the people of Manipur to appoint native officers to the key government posts. Respecting the people of the state a native senior officer should be appointed as chief secretary immediately, he added.
The students bodies cautioned the government to take up severe forms of agitations is fails to fulfil the demand.
Dr. J. Suresh Babu took the office of chief secretary of Manipur on April 1 as in-charge chief secretary after RR Rashmi retired from the post. Ahead of Rashmi, O. Nabakishore was the chief secretary.
The student bodies submitted a memorandum to chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh. The memorandum states that there have been several unfair, discriminatory and hurtful decisions taken by the government in the recent past and in doing so a deep chasm of social uneasiness was created between the valley and hill people. The hills were left out in development, the tribal people’s grievances unheard and ignored. They were made to feel like second class citizens in their own state. Now the situation has started changing but needs further reinforcing and consolidation.
The state government has embarked on a new course of equitable and fair development, social engagement and reconciliation amongst the different communities in the state. The chief minister has travelled to the hill districts with a mission “Go to the Hills” and met various tribal communities under the slogan “Hill and valley are one” and shared the vision, hope and aspirations and in doing so government has touched the right chord. They now feel closer to the government than ever before. But one decision which has caused deep anguish and distress remains unaddressed. It’s the feeling of being shunned and unwanted. This wound is still open unheated and has not healed, added the memorandum.
The student bodies and many other rights thinking organisation would endorse the view that an opportunity has been thrown upon the government now to set things right as the post of chief secretary remain vacant.