TODAY -

24 hour total shutdown called off; Police lathicharge protesters at Kalapahar
Source: The Sangai Express

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

AHLAVCCA decided to call off the total shutdown following an assurance from the Chief Minister Office and the local MLA, Nemcha Kipgen.

With the personal assurance from the Chief Minister and 50 Kangpokpi AC MLA, Nemcha Kipgen to settle the issue of land acquisition along the NH-2 by July 5, the association, in good faith called off the 24 hours bandh, said Semson Kipgen, secretary AHLAVCCA.

He however said that the association would carry out more stringent forms of agitation in case the Chief Minister failed to bring an acceptable solution on the issue.

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

Meanwhile, before the total shutdown imposed by AHLAVCCA was called off, volunteers were seen blocking the highway at Kalapahar and Gamgiphai enforcing the total shutdown.

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

The protesters displayed a giant banner with slogans, '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', etc.

Despite the lockdown and curfew owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, a mammoth crowd congregated at Kalapahar and Gamgiphai to support the total shutdown.

Kangpokpi police under the supervision of IPS Karthik Malladi, IPS had a hard time controlling and monitoring the huge crowd while ensuring a peaceful environment along the National Highway.

However, as per source, a confrontation erupted at Kalapahar with the arrival of ADGP Ashutosh Kumar Sinha, IPS with additional forces from Imphal including commandos.

Meanwhile, 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 would not work as the people would never give even an inch of the land unless their demands are fulfilled by the Government.

At Gamgiphai, Helen Kipgen warned of intensfied agitation including an economic blockade if the State Government doesn't agree to scrap/nullify all the previous orders/notifications of the Government in connection with the land acquisition; conduct a joint survey and pay fair compensation to all the affected victims.

Besides, a woman protester at Kalapahar said that the total shutdown was enforced peacefully until additional security forces from Imphal came and dispersed the crowd.

She said that the additional security force from Imphal including commandos led by the ADGP, Ashutosh Kumar Sinha even lathicharge a few of the women protesters.

In regards to the lathicharge, Chongpi, a protester from Keithelmanbi appealed to the concerned authority not to send such police officers to monitor and control the crowd in the future to avoid misunderstanding.

It may be mentioned that the ADGP himself and the security personnel were seen dispersing the crowd by resorting to lathicharge at Gamgiphai and Kalapahar while women folk at Kalapahar stormed the security forces demanding an apology from the ADGP.

Later, the ADGP apologised to the women protesters for the unfortunate incident.


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