The Konsakhul Area Joint Action Committee (KAJAC) has announced “indefinite total bandh” with effect from the midnight of January 31, 2021 “along the national and the state highways in Manipur including all the national projects in Naga areas” in the State.
In a press statement issued on Friday, the KAJAC said, “In response to the Government of Manipur’s arrogance and indifferent attitude towards the hill people by suppressing the rights of the traditional landowner and grabbing tribal land forcefully for construction of the proposed National Sports University (NSU) complex, Manipur, the Konsakhul Area Joint Action Committee (KAJAC) has declared indefinite total bandh with effect from January 31, 2021 midnight along the national and the state highways in Manipur including all the national projects in Naga areas” in the State.
The KAJAC then strongly condemned the “use of sophisticated” weapons against the “peaceful” protesters. The KAJAC demanded immediate suspension of the concerned officer in-charge “for firing live bullets against the peaceful protesters today (29.01.2021), failing which the KAJAC will intensify its agitation”.
However, the KAJAC said that essential services including medical emergency, fire brigade, media, power, water supply and telecommunication will be exempted from the purview of the bandh.
“Although we had tried with our best efforts to resolve the NSU imbroglio in a peaceful and democratic way by conveying our grievances through memorandums, representations, petitions etc. but the government of Manipur failed to respond to our calls to resolve the issue amicably,” the press statement alleged.
According to the KAJAC statement, the aim of this move is to press the Government of Manipur to “stop grabbing tribal land forcefully” for the proposed construction of NSU complex and acknowledge the lawful traditional landowner i.e, “Konsakhul village (Konsaram) under Senapati district, Manipur as primary stakeholder”.
It then stated that every tribal village has its own distinct traditional boundary, jurisdiction and own ways of life. “To us, the land and the people cannot be separated as our culture, tradition and identity are interwoven with the land,” the KAJAC statement added.