Mudslide-hit IT Road reopens
CM's FB post draws flak

Source: Chronicle News Service

Kangpokpi, August 03 2021: The Imphal-Tamenglong (IT) road which was hit by a massive mudslide near Tujang Vaichong Sub Divisional Headquarters has been almost cleared as vehicles started plying on Tuesday afternoon.

The local people with the help of an excavator (JCB) provided by 4th Bihar Regiment Tamei Battalion and another JCB from Makui cleared the debris on Monday.

According to KSO Twilang block president Enock Kipgen, a team led by SDO T Vaichong, James Pani along with DFO Kangpokpi Chingpilhing Kipgen, executive engineer (PWD) Loken Singh, Kangpokpi police and a NDRF and SDRF reached the mudslide hit site on Tuesday around 1:30 pm and inspected the whole area.

He continued that the team went to the source of the mudslide, found a huge portion of a hillock collapsed and concluded that permanent restoration can never happen.

Enock Kipgen said that the course of the stream must be restored by clearing the debris and also clearing the perennial water canal sources of the paddy fields, while pointing out that almost all the paddy fields submerged by the mudslide belong to fanners of T Vaichong.

He also urged the state government and authorities concerned to compensate all the paddy fields inundated by the mudslide beyond repair and provide financial assistance to the affected farmers.

Meanwhile, Kuki Students' Organization General Headquarters and Kuki Reformation Forum condemned the alleged 'irresponsible statement' made by chief minister N Biren Singh in connection with the T Vaichong mudslide incident.

Sharply reacting to the alleged irresponsible statement made by the chief minister on his Facebook post over the flash flood that occurred in Twilang Area, KSO-GHQ remarked that the chief minister instead of showing empathy on the hardships faced by the people of the area chose to gloat over their pains by attributing it to poppy plantation.

It said that it would have been sagacious if the chief minister did a little soul searching before coming out with such outrageous comments given the fact that there is no poppy cultivation in T Vaichong village at all.

The student body also said that this is not the first time that the present chief minister had made such malicious remarks against the Kuki community and demanded that the chief minister tender outright apology.

It recalled that in one of his Facebook post late last year, the chief minister made an infamous Freudian slip by calling the Kuki community as 'refugees' which was responsible for opening a floodgate of further insinuations, taunts, denigrations and insults to an intolerable degree that saw the climax during the Koubru impasse.

That particular comment had deeply hurt the sentiments of the Kuki people but the chief minister instead of apologizing for his faux pas passed on the buck to some make-believe hackers who are still at large, it added.

The promptness that was seen in arresting and incarcerating netizens whose comments were not in sync with his government's thinking was brazenly missing in this particular situation, the KSO noted.

For instance during the Koubru issue "our people were promptly arrested on the pretext that they made communal comments but chose to ignore the fact that there was a Facebook group that continue to provoke the Kukis.

It said then said, "KSO GHQ has no intention of raking up old sores but our question is don't we have a rule of law and doesn't that apply to all citizens of India? When this government has shown so much zeal and bigotry in arresting the Kukis why not apply the same yardstick to other communities?" "It should be known that migration was not only confined to the Kuki community alone rather it was a historical as well as global phenomena and no society was free from it.

The Anglo-Saxons, the Aryans, the Latin Americans, the Australians, etc, were all migrants at one point of time.

Nearer home the Ahoms were migrants from present Myanmar likewise the Lushais.

Many of the Naga tribes draw their roots from beyond the borders of India.

Even one of the Meitei progenitors, Poreiton was said to have migrated from China.

The Muslims arrived in Manipur in the year 1606.The Meitei-Brahmans who are now assimilated into the Meitei society were migrants from Cachar, Bangladesh and Bengal.

But nobody calls them refugees, why? And traces of Meitei diaspora are found in Myanmar, Cachar, Bangladesh and other parts of the world.

Would the Meitei community bear it with equanimity if they are tormented and harassed there with the refugee tag?" KSO asked.

"So, the Kukis are not going to be at peace with the present BJP government led by N Biren Singh unless the chief minister himself apologizes to our people for all the traumas and sufferings we were subjected to and the same yardstick applies to all Kuki politicians supporting N Biren's government," it added.

Kuki Reformation Forum also stated that the CM's statement on the T Vaichong mud slide is yet another intimation of his egregious statesmanship.

It said that the chief minister's statement was irresponsible and despiteful, and therefore unsolicited of the chief minister, especially in a state like Manipur where communal tensions are already woefully on the rise, and oddly since the dawn of present ministry.

Moreover, as opposed to CM's statement, the region is densely forested and respectably environmentally conscious and conscientious let alone if it engages in poppy cultivation or not, it stated and added that CM Biren, therefore, making such a malignant statement is acutely hurtful to the sentiments of the people and therefore irremissible - only showing his bigotry against the tribals in general and the people of the region in particular.

The Forum continued that it is as well inexplicable as to why the chief minister must inculpate the people instead of responsibly acting on the calamity adding that the landslide not only cut a section of the road but also destroyed a large portion of the paddy fields in the area.

Moreover, the recent landslide is the third occurrence in the region and it is therefore sharply disquieting why the CM does not come forward as the people's CM and provide relief for the affected people instead of his mindless upbraiding against the whole region, it added.

It also said that it will be most prudent and proper for chief minister N Biren to tender a public apology to the people of Kangpokpi district in general and to the people of T Vaichong in particular for his tactless remarks and failing otherwise will only heighten the suspicion and antagonism against his government - an utter shame for the people's CM .

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