GUWAHATI: One of the legislators of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has proposed a supposed solution to bring back peace in Manipur – by providing equal land rights for the people of both Hills and the Valley.
The Sagolband MLA, Rajkumar Imo Singh, has called upon his colleagues in the Manipur Assembly to come together and bring an amendment to the Manipur Land Revenue and Land reforms Act 1960.
“Have written a letter appealing to all Legislators to join and unite hands. There should be a Manipur where there are equal laws, thus an equal land law for every section of the society. The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act 1960, enacted by Parliament needs to be amended,” said Singh in a post on a popular micro-blogging website.
Calling the Act an “illogical, controversial and biased law”, Singh wrote, “Let us all unite for this cause and move together for the Act to be applicable and extended to the whole state. As this is an Act of Parliament, it has to be ultimately ratified and amended in Parliament for which we all should initiate in one voice.”
The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act of 1960 restricts residents of the Imphal Valley from purchasing land in the predominantly tribal hill districts, while the tribal population have the freedom to buy land anywhere within the state. Notably, the valley region constitutes only about 10% of the state’s total geographical area.
The MLA, who is also the son-in-law of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, added that it’s time to create a new law that promotes equality among all citizens. He also alleged that powerful tribal leaders, politicians, businessmen and village chiefs have created an “imaginary” threat perception that people from the valley would go and settle down in the hill districts.
“On the other hand, these leaders have their properties in the valley and are enjoying the benefits while the poor tribal people in the hills are not able to enjoy the same as the land belongs to the chiefs, a few individuals, community as per the customary law,” he added.