Letter to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi: Uphold the Special Provision Article 371C in the Constitution of India with regards to the Construction of Mapithel Dam (Thoubal Multipurpose Project) in the State of Manipur

3 March 2018

To,

Shri Narendra Modi
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
South Block, Secretariat Building
Raisina Hill
New Delhi – 110011
India

Through Her Excellency Dr. Najma Heptullah
Governor of Manipur

The undersigned, hereby submit this Memorandum for your kind intervention to ensure that the State abides by the Constitution of India in implementing the developmental  project, i.e., the Mapithel Dam  (Thoubal Multipurpose Project) undertaken in the State of Manipur and to intercede in the process of its construction and planned inauguration thereof  on the inter alia grounds:

 G   R   O   U   N   D   S

  1. Since the inception of the Special Provision of Article 371C of the Constitution of India, which came into effect on 15-02-1972, the benefit of Article 371C is not extended in the State of Manipur in favour of hill tribes. As such, the Constitution and the desire and spirit of the Constitution are defeated till date.
  2. Because, the Special Provision, 371C of the Indian Constitution and the Subsequent Order, dated 20th June 1972, issued by the then President V. V. Giri, protects the life, land and forests of the hill tribes of Manipur, where the Mapithel Dam is constructing against the mandatory provision by the Constitution.
  3. Because, at the time of construction of Mapithel Dam, the consent and knowledge of the Hill Areas Committee was not taken. Thereby, bypassing the Special Provision referred to above.
  4. Because, at the time of construction of Mapithel dam, as also mandated by the Report of the World Commission on Dams and the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986,  the Environmental Impact Assessment notification 1994, w.r.t. Schedule 1 item 2 is totally violated.
  5. Because, National Environment Policy, 2006 and National Forest Policy, 1988 were not complied with in the process of constructing the said dam.
  6. Because, the provisions of sections 3, 4, and 7 of The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 are also violated.
  7. Because, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit – that officially came into force on 1st January 2016, and universally applied to all countries to mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind, are also defeated.
  8. Because, without following Section 4 of Land Acquisition Act, 1894, and Section 11 of The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,  Rehabilitation  and Resettlement Act, 2013 and its Rules, the State government has procured the land belonging to the tribals by direct purchase which is not known to the law of the land.
  9. Because, construction of Mapithel dam is a deception to Article 300A of the Indian Constitution as the land was forcibly seized by direct purchase which is not transferable to the State.
  10. Because, the lands of the tribals of the State of Manipur are protected by the Standing Order No.9 of 10-12-34, which reads, “Transfer of land from one village to another by sale of any other way is not allowed except with the permission  of the President, Manipur State and  terms and  conditions of any such by clearly laid down and agreed before such permission will be given.” As such, the Standing Order remains till date for which your timely intervention is indispensable to uphold the law of the land.
  11. Because, the National Green Tribunal, Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata, Review Application No. 46/20016/EZ and M.A. No. 822/2016/EZ in Appeal No. 04/2014/EZ, in its judgement order clearly state that the State Government has violated the statutory requirement provided under the FRA 2006, as such a direction has been given to the State Government to comply with the provisions of the said FRA. However, to our surprise, the State Government has failed to comply with the said Order till date. Accordingly, it will amount to contempt of the said judgement if at all the Mapithel Dam is to be inaugurated.
  12. Because, the rights of the indigenous peoples are protected under Article 10 and article 26 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of   Indigenous Peoples  adopted  by General Assembly Resolution 61/295 on 13th September, 2007, and to which the Government of India is a signatory.
  1. Because, the tribal lands were taken away without their free and prior informed consent and due process of law under Section 3 (f) & (g) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 for the construction of the said dam in Ukhrul district of Manipur, amount to deprivation of land belonging to Scheduled Tribes in Manipur as it violates the provision of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
  2. Because, due to the arbitrary and unlawful construction of Mapithel Dam, more than 44 villages have been affected without any fault of the villagers, and by now, they have become a stranger in their own land.

Therefore, in the light of the above facts and circumstances, it is prayed that  the Hon’ble Prime Minister may immediately interfere so as to restore the land and forest of the tribals by upholding the Special Provision of the Indian Constitution in favour of the downtrodden tribal so as to set the things right.

Yours Sincerely,

Indigenous Organisations and Participants of the Asia Preparatory Meeting on UN Mechanisms and Procedures Relating to Indigenous Peoples held in Bubaneshwar, India from 28 February – 3 March 2018

Name of Organizations:

  1. Adivasi Mahila Maha Sabha (AMMS), Chhattisgarh
  2. Ashray/Inter State Adivasi Women’s Network (ISAWN), Jharkhand
  3. Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP)
  4. Asia Youth Indigenous Peoples Net work (AYIPN)
  5. Asian Indigenous Women Network (AIWN)
  6. Association for Taiwan Indigenous Peoples’ Policies
  7. BIPHRO
  8. BPAN
  9. Cambodia Indigenous Peoples Organisation
  10. Center for Sustainable Development in Mountainous Areas – CSDM
  11. Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO)
  12. Commissioner Tuenjai Deetes, National HR Commission Thailand (representative of Southeast Asia NHRI Forum)
  13. Confederation of Lumad Organizations (PASAKA-SMR)
  14. Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA)
  15. Edtami Mansayagan, member of Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP)
  16. Ekachai Pinkaew, National HR Commission Thailand
  17. Global Association for People and the Environment (GAPE)
  18. Hill Women’s Federation
  19. Hmong Clan Network in Thailand and Hmong Association
  20. Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education (TEBTEBBA)
  21. Indigenous Women Forum of North East India (IWFNEI)
  22. International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)
  23. Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia (JOAS)
  24. Jharkhand Indigenous And Tribal Peoples For Action Jitpa
  25. Jharkhandi Organization for Human Rights (JOHAR), Jharkhand
  26. Kapaeeng Foundation
  27. Karbi Human Rights Watch (KHRW)
  28. Lawyers’ Association for Human Rights of Nepalese Indigenous Peoples (LAHURNIP)
  29. Lok Sangharsh Morcha
  30. Loyola College of Social Science, Trivendram, Kerala
  31. MALEYA Foundation
  32. Myanmar Indigenous Peoples/ Ethnic Nationalities Network (IPs/EN)
  33. Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR)
  34. Naga Women Union
  35. National Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF)
  36. Nepal Indigenous Disabled Association (NIDA)
  37. NGO Forum Cambodia
  38. PACOS Trust
  39. Papora Indigenous Development Association (PIDA)
  40. People Organization of G6 Mangrove defender
  41. Perempuan AMAN
  42. Pratheep Mekatitam, National HR Commission Thailand
  43. Promotion Of Indigenous & Nature Together (POINT)
  44. Rakhine Ethnics Congress
  45. Samagra Vikas/Inter State Adivasi Women’s Network (ISAWN), Odisha
  46. Shiraoi Ainu Museum
  47. Thao Culture Development Association
  48. UMEED
  49. Women Resource Network (WRN)
  50. Youth Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (YFIN)
  51. Zo Indigenous Forum

Click here to download full memorandum.

This statement is one of the three statements from the 2018 Asia Preparatory Meeting in Bubaneswar, India from 28 February to 3 March 2018. Read the other two:

  1. Bangladesh: Uphold the Rule of Law and End the Impunity of Security Forces
  2. Philippines: Respect Freedom of Expression and Movement; Stop the Harassment of Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Defenders
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