The district of Manipur has witnessed tensions since the past few months over the introduction of a new bill that seeks to give more powers to the autonomous tribal councils in the state.
About the protest in Manipur:
The tribal bodies have called intermittent protests, economic blockades and shutdown demanding that the (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill, 2021, be passed. A few days back, on December 19, the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur called for a 12-hour shutdown in the hill districts while tribal students from the state held a rally in Delhi.
However, the debate over the bill is not just about constitutional procedure or even party rivalries. It implies an extensive political divide amidst the Imphal Valley, where the Meitei community forms a majority, and the hill districts that surround it, home to several tribal communities.
SR Andria, general secretary of the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur said, “It is all about having equitable development between the hills and valley.” The Secretary also claimed that the bill would create a “state within a state”.