TODAY -

Indefinite NH2 bandh from today
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 16 2019: Sekmai Protection Committee (SPC) president Angom Rajesh has announced that an indefinite bandh along National High-way No 2 (Imphal-Dimapur highway), will be imposed from 6 am tomorrow oppo-sing 'encroachment' into any part of Awang Sekmai by the Indian Army.

He also announced that the bandh will continue until and unless the State Government takes up some positive steps to resolve the issue, failing which the agitation will be intensified.

He made the announcement during a sit-in protest which was organised by SPC, Sekmai Schedule Caste Development Committee and Advanced Wom- en Society today.

Speaking to media persons on the sideline of the sit-in, Angom Rajesh said that on November 12, the Secretary to the Chief Minister sent notices to the Commissioner (Revenue) and Imphal West and Imphal East DCs to identify 3/4 areas (measuring 2000 metres long and 200 metres wide) near the 57th Mountain Division.

The said notice was relayed to SDC Awang Sek- mai by Imphal West DC and accordingly, the SDC carried out a survey and drew a map of the said areas before submitting it in the form of a report to the authorities concerned, he claimed, warning that the people will never agree to part with any land to the Indian army.

Demanding the Government to withdraw any plan to hand over land to the army immediately, Rajesh explained that the said lands/areas are all agricultural lands which serve as the source of food and income for the people of Awang Sekmai.

Large areas of Awang Sekmai were already given to the army in the past and there were even attempts to 'encroach' into another 1800 acres of land as well.

He continued that a PIL was filed to the High Court of Manipur regarding the issue and the Court ruled that even if the army was to acquire the land, the land acquisition processes should be conducted as per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.Over and above, the Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2014, has already been enforced and there are also many recommendations and directives of the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal regarding conservation of agricultural land, he explained while strongly condemning the attempt of the State Government to give away land to the Indian army despite the ruling of the High Court.

He also asked why he army is trying to acquire land only in Awang Sekmai instead of scouting other vacant locations.

Rajesh continued that if the Government does not heed the appeal of the people, then they will be forced to take legal actions as well.

During the sit-in protest, the people carried placards containing slogans like 'No land of Sekmai to Indian Army', 'Respect High Court order' etc.

After the sit-in, a public rally was carried out upto SDC Awang Sekmai complex.

The atmosphere became tense after the people found the SDC office locked.

However, the situation was eventually brought under control by a large number of police forces.


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