As announced by the civil society organizations of Kangpokpi district, the total bandh over the land demarcation underway at Haraothel (L Tangnaum) for the construction of the National Sports University began at 1 pm along National Highway-2 and National Highway-37 in Kangpokpi district.
Even as the bandh was being enforced a stand off ensured between the police and the protesters and twelve individuals including women sustained injuries when the police personnel allegedly fired teargas shells to disperse the mob.
The injured persons are identified as Neishi, Kimma and Henei Chongloi of Leimakhong, Ngahhoikim of L Munlai, Kamneimang Chongloi of L Phaikot, Gegen Vaiphei and Veitineng Vaiphei of Kharam Vaiphei, Kamgen Vaiphei, Chongkim Vaiphei of L Tangnaum (Haraothel), Joujam Vaiphei and Lhingpha of L Phaijang village and Lhingneineng Kipgen of K Patbung.
Led by TSA Sadar Hills, the agitating mob also raised slogans against the alleged illegitimate demarcation, the alleged highhandedness of Imphal West district police personnel and the BJP led Government over the disputed NSU site.
Lianboi Vaiphei, general secretary of Zillai, the apex student body of Vaiphei student organizations alleged that the volatile situation is due to the illegitimate demarcation work carried out by Imphal West district administration.
He continued that at such a juncture a negotiation in a very peaceful manner is called for but the Government is paying no heed. Rather it let loose the security personnel on the people and “we are suffering a lot especially the young innocent women and children,” he added.
“Land is our right. We will fight and stand tooth and nail for our land. Nobody can continue confiscating our rightful land at the National Sports University site. We will now fight back whatsoever it takes”, he asserted and added that since the Congress days till the present BJP era, the Government has always been taking a one-sided decision over the disputed NSU site.
Vehicular movement was completely restricted at Gamgiphai, Kangpokpi DHQs and Taphou Kuki while all business establishments in the district were closed. Many vehicles were seen stopped at Gamgiphai by the bandh volunteers. The total bandh was also strongly enforced along NH-37 under the aegis of Kuki Inpi and KSO Moltam Lhang.
Meanwhile, hundreds of men and women thronged DC Kangpokpi office to highlight their grievances.
A lengthy discussion went on for almost two hours in front with DC Somorjit Salam.
The DC assured the people that he will bring to the knowledge of Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary about the current crisis at L Tangnaum (Haraothel) village along with the people’s demands.
The demands include immediate withdrawal of Imphal West District police from L Tangnaum (Haraothel), to declare the alleged illegitimate demarcation as null and void, to constitute a legitimate demarcation committee, publicize the findings of the State Government’s District Boundary Commission first before conducting demarcation at NSU site.
Meanwhile, Sadar Hills Chiefs’ Association (SAHILCA) and KSO general headquarters also condemned the alleged illegitimate demarcation and endorsed the total bandh called by the CSOs of Kangpokpi.
Taking serious note of the alleged violence perpetrated today, KSO-GHQ strongly condemned the violence and added that the abrupt deployment of the State security forces with anti-riot equipment and the use of teargas, lathi charge is a reflection of the cold-hearted treatment of tribal interests.
It said that the tribal people have been pressing for a peaceful settlement of the issue by involving all stake holders. It is important for the State Government to take up steps to successfully resolve the land dispute. These steps should include proper demarcation, compensation, allocation of lands, the naming of the varsity by involving the tribal people which should have been long resolved even before the construction began. However, the State Government went ahead with the construction even as a case is still pending at different levels such as the High Court and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes. This is nothing but a malicious attempt to grab tribal land forcefully, added the student body.
Meanwhile, the International Human Rights Association, Manipur called for an immediate resolution of the dispute. Mark Thangmang Haokip, president, IHRA (Manipur) said that it is immature for the Government to take such critical resolutions without prior consent of the stakeholders concerned, besides being an extensively sensitive issue that could spark communal violence and unrest in the State.
Therefore, the International Human Rights Association, is compelled to advise and warn the State Government and concerned departments to judiciously study the prevailing situation and call off the demarcation process until the Government reaches an understanding or an agreement with the stakeholders concerned, he added.
He further said that the International Human Rights Association, India, is an organization incorporated under the legislation of India and co-operated by the United Nations and International Bar Associations. It resolutely aims to defend and promote Human Rights, and therefore any violations or in appropriations of Human Rights will not be tolerated and will be strictly dealt with in a court of Justice.
Courtesy: The Sangai Express