UMAA presses the state with its 6 point demands

SILCHAR, September 30: United Manipuri Association of Assam (UMAA) has been pressing the State Government for acceding to its 6 point charter of demands which are not only long pending but also deserve to be considered with the urgency they call for. Addressing a press–meet in the conference hall of Manipuri Development Council here today, Jiten Singha, chief advisor of the Association, outlined the demands which included appointment of sufficient number of Manipuri language teachers, ST status, empowerment of the existing Manipuri Development Council, creation of upper house in Assam and reservation of one seat for Manipuris in the state Assembly as well as the facility of Manipuri as a medium for TET and APSC examinations.
Elaborating, Jiten Singha said 99% of language teachers in 134 non Manipuri LP schools, 35 ME and 30 high schools were Manipuri. After provincialization of the schools, Manipuri language teachers despite all their sacrifice and services have not been taken on permanent posts. This, as he said, “has generated a sense of deep resentment among the Manipuri teachers.” This has also raised question about the role of inspector of schools of the three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi. UMAA, Jiten Singha, added to say would submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister and the Education Minister of Assam in order to eliminate the discrimination. He cautioned in the event of the failure of the state to do justice to Manipuri language teachers, they will be left with no alternative than to take recourse to agitation.
Jiten Singha cited another glaring example of discrimination and neglect towards the Manipuri community. He said Ahoms enjoyed all the privileges and facilities as ST. According to him, official records show 79 ACS officers and 31 IAS officers belong to Ahom community. Manipuris who are under the category of OBC should also be recognized as ST and allowed to enjoy the facilities as Ahoms got. It was quite regrettable that neither at the district nor at the state level “there is any Manipuri officer.” This has been a phenomenon for the last 20 years. Even in defence and other services, central and state, Manipuris continue to be neglected.
Jiten Singha further demanded more powers to the existing Manipuri Development Council which could not give proper attention to their developmental activities. The fund allocation was too meagre to enable them to take up projects and schemes in the larger interest of the society. It was therefore imperative that the fund allocation should not only be regular but also adequate. For that, he demanded satellite autonomous council without disturbing the present structure and status of the Manipuri Development Council.
The chief advisor of UMAA said in the proposed Legislative Council or Upper House formation in Assam, one representative from the Manipuri community should be ensured. Besides, 1 MLA seat should also be reserved in the state Assembly for the community so that their grievances and problems could be heard for proper redressal.
Jiten Singha reminded that Manipuri was the second largest speaking language after Bengali in Barak Valley and it was justifiable that for the convenience of the candidates competing for APSC and TET examinations or tests, Manipuri should be one of the medium of instructions and communication. Others present at the press–meet included Kunja Mohan Singha, advisor, Bikramjit Singha, secretary, Monitomba Singha, secretary, R K Shankarjit Singha, president of UMAA Lakhipur district committee, Manihar Singha, finance secretary UMAA central committee. (Source: SentinelAssam)

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