TODAY -

24-hour total shutdown called off
Source: Chronicle News Service

Kangpokpi, July 02 2021: The 24-hour total shutdown imposed by Asian Highway Land Affected Chairmen/Chiefs' Association along with various student bodies including TSA Sadar Hills and AMGSU was called off at around 5 pm on Friday.

Earlier, volunteers were seen blocking the highway at Kalapahar and Gamgiphai.

Except for those exempted from the purview of the bandh, all other vehicles were sent back by the volunteers.

The protestors displayed a giant banner inscribed with their demands such as "We want fair compensation (Land Acquisitions Act, 2013), "Scrap/nullify 3A and 3D order/notification for land acquisition, "We reject 3A and 3D notification for land acquisition", "Declare Kangpokpi District as un-surveyed land", "Valley district administration has no authority on the hill District", "No justice no work on NH-2" .

Despite the COVID-19 lockdown and curfew, a mammoth crowd of land affected victims congregated at Kalapahar and Gamgiphai helping the bandh volunteers in enforcing the total shutdown.

Kangpokpi police under the supervision of newly posted SP Karthik Malladi had a hard time controlling the huge crowd.

A confrontation erupted at Kalapahar with the arrival of ADGP Ashutosh Kumar Sinha, with additional forces from Imphal including commandos.

The security personnel baton-charged the bandh volunteers including women protesters.

One of the land affected victims from Kalapahar, Reuben Shankar said that the government policy of forcefully snatching away their land for expansion of the highway will not work unless their rightful demands are fulfilled.

He urged the state government not to be adamant over the genuine demands of AHLAVCCA and asked that the issue be resolved at the earliest before things get worse.

At Gamgiphai, one Helen Kipgen maintained that all peaceful approaches towards resolving the issue have been neglected by the state government, compelling them to resort to extreme movement.

He recalled that DC Kangpokpi had issued a notification on June 3, 2020 for a joint survey and accordingly a joint survey was conducted but it was scandalously rejected by the government and declared most of their land as government land.

Then, under the aegis of AHLAVCCA, several objections had been submitted but the government failed to entertain their objections which compelled them to resort to a democratic form of agitation.

However, the government remained adamant which led them to impose the total shutdown, he added.

Helen Kipgen also warned of more intense form of agitation including an economic blockade if all the previous orders/notifications of the government in connection with the land acquisition are not nullified.

A woman protestor at Kalapahar said that the total shutdown was very peaceful until additional security forces from Imphal came and dispersed the protestors in a very rude manner.

She said that the additional security force from Imphal including commandos led by an ADGP even lathi-charged a few women protestors.

The ADGP himself and the security personnel were seen dispersing the crowd by resorting to lathi-charge at Gamgiphai and Kalapahar while women folks at Ka-lapahar resisted the security forces, demanding an apology from the ADGP.

Later, the ADGP apologised to the women protestors for the lathicharge against them.

Meanwhile, AHLAVCCA decided to call off its 24-hour total shutdown at 5 pm following an assurance from the chief minister office and local MLA Kangpokpi AC Nemcha Kipgen.

After the personal assurance from chief minister and MLA Nemcha to settle the issue latest by July 5, the association, in good faith, called off the 24-hour bandh, said Semson Kipgen, secretary AHLAVCCA.

He, however, said that the association will take more stringent form of agitation in case the government fails to bring an acceptable solution to the issue.

Meanwhile, AHLAVCCA conveyed gratitude to all CSOs and student bodies including All Manipur Gorkha Students' Union Manipur and Thadou Students' Association Sadar Hills for their relentless support and cooperation.


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