DESAM calls bandh to protest induction of Jiribam MLA

IMPHAL, 24th MARCH: While sticking to its stand that independent MLA from Jiribam assembly constituency Ashab Uddin is not a native of Manipur, Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) has declared that it will impose a 17-hour long state-wide bandh from March 25 midnight.

             Announcing the bandh during a media briefing at its Sagolband Moirang Leirak office here on Friday, DESAM secretary general Nameirakpam Edison termed induction of Ashab Uddin as a parliamentary secretary in the new BJP-headed coalition government as an affront to the people’s movement for protecting the indigenous communities of Manipur.

             Claiming that the Jiribam MLA is a Bengali Muslim, Edison maintained that inclusion of Ashab Uddin among the parliamentary secretaries tantamount to granting official recognition to a non-native. In addition to announcing that those involved in essential services will be exempted from the purview of the bandh, Edison also explained that in-spite of being well aware about inconveniences that the public will face, DESAM is constrained to launch the agitation so that the government does not act against the wishes of the people.

         Induction of Ashab Uddin in the BJP government on March 23 will remain as a ‘dark day’ in the history of Manipur, the student leader observed, and demanded chief minister N Biren to only review the decision but also act boldly to remove the non-local MLA from the government.

             The DESAM functionary also pointed out that Bengali Muslim voters in Jiribam AC has crossed 12,000 compared to only about 1053 Meetei-Pangal electorates. On account of the socio-economic and political backwardness of the Meetei-Pangal population in Jiribam, the state government established the MOBC department in 1998 to ensure that the marginalised community are not deprived of their constitutional rights, he said, while lamenting that inclusion of Ashab Uddin has the potential to deny relevant privileges to the Meetei-Pangal community.

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