TODAY -

Tamasha scripted by Govt's 5 Star dream continues to 'entertain'
HC rejects PIL, residents undaunted
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 24 2011: It was a blow, no doubt, but the decision of the Gauhati High Court, Imphal bench not to entertain a Public Interest Litigation has not demoralised the residents of Naga River Colony who have pledged to take recourse to further legal means to safeguard their dwelling places.

The PIL was filed in the face of the eviction order issued by the Government to pave the way for a 5 Star Hotel and was rejected on the ground that a similar complaint has already been received by the same Court.

The residents of Naga River Colony came shoulder to shoulder when the State Government came up with the grand dream of upgrading Hotel Imphal to a 5 Star Hotel and in the process drew up the plan to evict the local people.

The colony residents belonging to different communitiesMeitei, Tangkhul, Nepali, Muslim and Zeliangrong have been demanding that the Government revoke its order to evict them and take over their land for the upgradation of Hotel Imphal to a 5 Star hotel.

There are over thirty families settled in the said Colony.



Residents of Naga river colony stage a protest against the proposed eviction-File photo


Reflecting the cosmopolitan composition of the residents, the petition was filed by five organisations namely All Manipur Retired Contractors' Association, All Manipur Gorkha Christian Organisation, All Manipur Hindu Masdursamaj, Rongmei Lu Phuam women Association and Union Naga Forum'.

The residents claim that they have been living in the colony since time immemorial and the Government's plan to set up the luxurious hotel after evicting them as well worship places and grave yards is an attempt to destroy the age-old tradition of harmonious co-existence among different communities irrespective of religious belief and affiliation.

A division bench of the Gauhati High Court, Imphal bench rejected the Pil filed by different ethnic groups and social organisations against the Government's move to evict residents today.

The Pil was rejected on the ground that the affected Pattadars (land owners) of the area had already filed a petition incorporating a similar prayer challenging the Government's notification under 4 and 6 of the Land Acquisition Act before a single bench of the same Court.

"We are not disheartened by today's verdict as we will continue to fight with the earlier petition filed by us before the single bench Court.

We are all prepared to take our fight for our land to the Supreme Court," said K Golmei, chairman of the colony.

"Today representatives of two eminent human rights groups visited our area, inspected and recorded our statements and informed us of their support to our movement," he added.

Various civil bodies have argued that if at all the Government wants to convert the existing Hotel Imphal to a 5 Star hotel, it should take the hotel's adjacent neighborhood land surrounded by different Government offices instead of evicting the residents of Naga river colony.


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