Chronology of events in Karbi Anglong generated by the Justice Bill 2009

Chronology of events in Karbi Anglong generated by the
‘Administration of Justice in Karbi Anglong Bill, 2009’

3 July 2009
> KAAC not to support Govt. move to scrap Customary Law (Sorkar atum Customary Law kepavirji pu along chedondunde : CEM/Arleng Daily/2 July 200) : Joyram Engleng, CEM of the KAAC, declared in a press conference that the KAAC does not support the Govt. move to replace the existing customary practices of the hill people of Karbi Anglong and NC Hills districts by judicial courts as stated by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bharat Chandra Narah for which the proposed ‘Administration of Justice Bill, 2009’ is being introduced in the ongoing Budget Session. He asserted that the age-old practices of Customary Laws are not interfered by the proposed bill. He questioned whether the infrastructure created in the Ronghang-Rongbong, Chinthong-Rongbong and Amri-Rongbong at the expenses of lakhs of rupees will now be occupied by the State Govt.?

4 July 2009
> Different organizations condemn Govt. move to scrap Customary Law (Customary Law kepavirji pura sorkar pen kabor-I aphuthak song kaprek kaprek kapinrem/Arleng Daily/3 July 2009) : The mainstream Karbi organizations like the Karbi Lammet Amei (KLA), both factions of Karbi Students’ Association (KSA), Karbi Cultural Society (KCS) and Somindar Karbi Amei (SKA) represented by their leaders condemned the Govt. move to replace the Customary Laws of the hill people by the proposed ‘Administration of Justice Bill, 2009’ as stated by Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bharat Ch. Narah on 29 June 2009. The leaders, namely Mrinay Teron (SKA), Sikari Tisso (KLA), Chandrasing Kro (KCS), Sarthe Kramsa (KSA) et al reiterated that the Govt. had on various occasions attempted to infringe upon the autonomy of the Sixth Schedule. The introduction of ‘Assam Land and Revenue Act’ in Karbi Anglong is an instance, the leaders pointing that attempt is on to introduce Panchayati Raj as well which are aimed at curtailing the Sixth Schedule autonomy.

5 July 2009
> ASDC memo through DC to Assam CM against move to scrap Customary Law (Customary Law aphuthak ASDC pen Assam CM aphan kepanong pinpur alo DC arideng kepajir pon/Arleng Daily/4 July 2009) : ASDC leaders Robindra Rongpi, Sonasing Terang and Monsing Rongpi submitted a memorandum addressed to the Assam CM through the Karbi Anglong Deputy Commissioner opposing the move to scrap Customary Laws in Karbi Anglong and NC Hills citing the statement of Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bharat Chandra Narah. The leaders warned of public protest if the Govt. insisted on introducing the ‘Assam Administration of Justice Bill, 2009’. The ASDC had welcomed the bifurcation of Judiciary and Executive but opposed the move to scrap customary practices of the hill people.

7 July 2009
> All party meeting at ASDC office against scrapping of customary law (Customary Law aphuthak ASDC saihem along All Party meeting padopon/Arleng Daily/6 July 2009) : An all party meeting was held in the ASDC office to explore a possible united opposition to the proposal to scrap customary law. CPI (ML), BJP and Karbi Anglong Peoples’ Party (KAPP) attended the meeting chaired by ASDC president Chomang Kro. The meeting decided to send an all party delegation to the Assam Governor, HAD Minister and the Chief Minister against the proposed bill. The parties also decided to mobilise public opinion against the Assam govt. conspiracy to curtail the existing autonomy under the Sixth Schedule.

8 July 2009
> KAAC Executive Committee discuss Customary Law (KAAC EC along Customary Law alam kachingvai pon/Arleng Daily/7 July 2009) : The Executive Committee (EC) meeting of the KAAC today took up 21 issues for discussion including the Customary Law which had been agitating the minds of the people. The Executive Members however stated that the EC has affirmed its earlier position on the matter relating to the Customary Law without specifying what exactly the KAAC’s earlier stand on the matter was. According to sources, the KAAC had earlier approved the Assam govt. proposal to replace the Customary Laws.
> Nationalist Karbi Youth Association and Greater Hamren Karbi Youth Society stage a joint demonstration in front of the SDO (Civil) office at Hamren against the proposed Bill to scrap Customary Law. A memorandum addressed to the Assam Chief Minister was submitted through the SDO (C) Md Farukh Alam. The leaders of the organizations criticised the role of Dr Mansing Rongpi, Congress legislator who refrained from participating in the Assembly debate on the Customary Law but who went to the Karbi Kings assuring them that Karbi customary laws shall not be effected.

9 July 2009
> Karbi organizations submit memo to Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister against scrapping of Customary Law (Hamphang asong chelangpet pen Customary Law aphuthak DC aphan pinpur alo kepajir dam/Arleng Daily/ 8 July 2009) : Mainstream Karbi organizations, namely Somindar Karbi Amei (SKA), Karbi Lammet Amei (KLA), Karbi Students’ Association (KSA), Karbi Employees’ Association (KEA) and Karbi Cultural Society (KCS) today staged a sit-in demonstration in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office and submitted a memorandum to the Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr Bharat Kr Narah through the Karbi Anglong Deputy Commissioner opposing the scrapping of Customary Laws. The organisations also opposed the move to introduce Panchayati Raj in Karbi Anglong district.
> Greater Guwahati Karbi Students’ Association (GGKSA) memo to CM, HAD against scrapping of Customary Law (Customary Law, Panchayati Raj aphuthak CM, HAD Minister aphan GGKSA atum pen pinpur alo kepajir pon/Arleng Daily/9 July 2009) : Leaders of the GGKSA submitted memorandum to the Assam CM and HAD Minister opposing scrapping of Customary Law and introduction of Panchayati Raj in Karbi Anglong. HAD Minister Khorsing Ingti assured the delegation that Assam Govt. is only bifurcating Judiciary and Executive and that the Customary Laws shall not be touched. However, the HAD minister stated that the Panchayati Raj is soon going to be introduced as it is the government’s decision. Later, the GGKSA delegation accompanied by Karbi Kings met the Assam Chief Minister. The CM informed the delegation that a team is soon being sent to Karbi Anglong to know details about Karbi Customary Laws as he himself was also not very well aware of the status of the customary practices among the Karbis. The CM only assured that he will apprise the matter to the Law Minister.
The GGKSA also had decided to stage a demonstration at Dispur Last Gate on 13 July 2009.
The organizations also decided on a 12 Hr KA bandh on 13 July as a protest against the Bill. KSA, KLA, SKA, KCS, KNCA, KEA and KTUYA are in the organizations calling for the protest bandh. Prominent political parties ASDC, BJP, AGP, NCP and KAPP had also supported the bandh.

10 July 2009
> Govt. will not do anything to scrap Customary Law : CEM (Sorkar pen Customary Law kepavirji aphan klemponpe : CEM/Arleng Daily/9 July 2009) : Joyram Engleng, CEM of KAAC, had reiterated in a press conference that customary laws will not be effected in the event of bifurcation of the judiciary and executive through the ‘Administration of Justice Bill, 2009’ to be introduced in the Assembly during the current budget session. He brushed aside criticisms appearing in local papers against the Bill and said such people are only confusing the people. Meanwhile, Mr Engleng also appealed to organizations calling for ‘bandh’ to withdraw it.

12 July 2009
> UPDS opposes Govt. Bill to scrap Customary Law (Assam Sorkar pen kepangdak alam UPDS pen chedon dunde/Arleng Daily/11 July 2009) : In a statement, the UPDS General Secretary Sai Ding-eh, had protested the proposed Govt Bill to scrap the Customary Law in the name of bifurcating Judiciary and Executive. While the UPDS had welcomed the bifurcation as per Supreme Court directive, the organization had criticized the Govt. move to scrap Customary Laws.
> KUYA and KRA condemn proposed Bill to scrap Customary Law (Customary Law kepavirji pu aphuthak KRA lapen KUYA kapinrem/Arleng Daily/11 July 2009) : Karbi Unemployd Youth Association (KUYA) and Karbi Riso Adorbar (KRA) have condemned the proposed Bill to scrap Customary Law. The two organizations have stressed that scrapping of Customary Laws is a direct assault on the Sixth Schedule. They also stressed that people of KA needs Autonomous State, not Panchayati Raj.

13 July 2009
> 12 Hr KA bandh against Bill to scrap Customary Law – The 12 Hr Karbi Anglong Bandh called by KSA, KLA, SKA, KCS, KNCA, and KEA and supported by KTUYA, KRA, KUYA, ASDC, BJP, AGP, NCP and KAPP passed off peacefully without any untoward incident.
> Effigies of Assam CM and HAD Minister burnt (Song 4 chelangsi Assam CM lapen HAD Minister akumlin me kekai pon/Arleng Daily/13 July 2009) : Members of the KSA, KNCA, AIPWA and AISA had burnt the effigies of Khorsing Ingti, HAD Minister and Tarun Gogoi, the Assam Chief Minister, to register their protest against the Bill to scrap the Customary Laws.

15 July 2009
>KLA/KCS joint consultation on Customary Law : A consultation among Karbi intellectuals was held at KLA office at Rongnihang jointly organized by the Karbi Lammet Amei (KLA) and Karbi Cultural Society. State encroachment into Sixth Schedule autonomy is taking place by way of imposition of Police District in Hamren, attempts to introduce Panchayati Raj, making Assamese (script) compulsory, obstructing inclusion of KA in the SRC and violation of the MoU (of 1995) and the current conspiracy to scrap Customary Laws etc.

18 July 2009
> Political parties call 12 Hr KA bandh today : The ASDC, BJP, NCP and AGP have jointly called for a 12 Hr bandh to protest the tabling of ‘Administration of Justice in Karbi Anglong Bill, 2009’ today in the Assam Assembly which is seen as a deliberate design of the State Govt. to scrap the Customary Laws of the Karbis and Dimasa tribesmen.

22 July 2009
> ‘Administration of Justice in Karbi Anglong Bill, 2009’ passed in Assam Aassembly/ASDC’s lone MLA Jagatsing Ingti opposes the Bill : The controversial Bill was passed and adopted in the Assam Assembly by voice vote even as Jagatsing Ingti, the lone ASDC legislator, fought in vain to bring an amendment so that only the bifurcation of the Judiciary and Executive was retained in the Bill. Earlier during the proceedings of the Assembly, all opposition members walked out following a heated debates over the alleged derogatory remark made by Himanta Biswa Sharma, Minister, against the AGP which left Jagatsing Ingti alone when the matter was taken up for voting.

23 July 2009
> ASDC terms adoption of ‘Administration of Justice in KA Bill, 2009’ as design to destroy Sixth Schedule in KA: A press release signed by ASDC Finance Secretary Robindra Rongpi yesterday accused the State govt. of trying to destroy the Sixth Schedule by way of adopting the ‘Administration of Justice in KA, Bill, 2009’ in the floor of Assam Assembly on 21 July 2009.

24 July 2009
> KAAC clarifies opposition accusations on Customary Law: Joyram Engleng, CEM of KAAC, accompanied by senior party leaders Bidyasing Engleng, MLA and others reiterated that the adoption of ‘Assam Administration of Justice in KA Bill, 2009’ has nothing to do with the Customary Laws and termed the opposition accusations as only designed to confuse the people. He asserted that Panchayati Raj shall not be allowed to be implemented in the Sixth Schedule area. He blamed ASDC for having consented to Clause-8 of the BTC Accord when Dr Jayanta Rongpi was CEM in 1991.

28 July 2009
> KAAC is cheating people by asserting that Customary Laws are safe from Judiciary Bill: ASDC (Judiciary Bill ajok Customary Law aphan rodamde puke KAAC CEM JR Engeng Karbi arat aphan kachongthui binong : ASDC/ Arleng Daily/ 27 July 2009) In a scathing rejoinder to the rebuttal of KAAC Joyram Engleng’s claim that the Judiciary Bill shall not interfere with the Customary Laws, ASDC leaders Chomang Kro, Elwin Teron and Robindra Rongpi in a press conference held in the party office, asserted that the KAAC is trying to mislead and cheat the people of Karbi Anglong.


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