TODAY -

Manipur Govt's politics of de-recognition

Mohammad Imtiyaj Khan *



In the recent past, there have been a number of issues related to land reform/use in Manipur. The National Sports University, ILPS bills 2015 and their modified versions in 2016, Scheduled Tribe demand, Hill-Valley stand-off, so on are all direct or indirect consequence of shrinking land resource in the valley. Apart from these state-level issues, there have been local/inter-community disputes arising out of land-grabbing in the name of places of worship (e.g., Ikop pat conflict in 2014) and on various other pretexts.

Under the State’s diktat, in past few years, the outskirts of Imphal city have been continuously targeted for land acquisition for public use or otherwise. It appears that the govt machinery seems to become super-active in pursuing land acquisition or ‘land-grabbing’ of minority inhabited areas in and around Imphal.

The land rights holding (pattadar) residents of surrounding areas of Mantripukhri including Kontha Ahallup, Chingmeirong Nongpok, and Meitei Keirang have been at the receiving end of such over-active but ill-conceived drives since 2013 apparently for public use.

However, the govt seems to shift goalpost, going by the orders passed in 2017 and last month. As per the 2017 order, the area was to be acquired for construction of MLA quarters, however last month authorities inspected and the halted redevelopment projects of the patta land by the residents in the name of paddy land conservation.

The latest govt diktat is to unsettle/displace the inhabitants of Kshetri Bengoon Mamang Ching/Khunou on the ground that the site/area comes under Nongmaiching Reserve Forest. The govt’s move is to declare the residents of the area illegal/encroachers, and hence liable to face eviction. In this regard, a show cause notice was served to the residents without conforming to FRA 2006.

Forest Rights Act (FRA) 2006: According to the scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers (recognition of forest rights) act, 2006, other traditional forest-dwellers are the inhabitants who have been staying in the area for past three generations (or 75 years prior to December 2005). For such dwellers, Section 3, 1(h) of the act speaks of rights of settlement and conversion of the villages, old habitation, unsurveyed villages and other villages in forests, whether recorded, notified or not into revenue villages.

To realise this, the guidelines appended in the Act direct State govt to convert all forest villages into revenue villages and recognise the forest rights of the inhabitants thereof immediately on enactment of the Act. In the event of rejection of claims of rights, the villagers can petition the authority in 60 days.

The relevant questions in this context are:
1) When the last survey of the area was done to recognise the area as Nongmaiching Reserve Forest?
2) When the survey was done was there any settlement?
3) When was the area notified as reserve forest?
4) Whether all the residents within the boundary pillars have been issued show cause notice or not?
So far the govt has not produced such documents/orders to dispel the apprehension of the locals in the Reserve Forest site.

Manipur Forest and Environment Minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar recently informed the State assembly that Manipur’s forest cover was up by 263 sq. km in past two years to 984.25 sq. km as revealed by the State of Forest Report (SFR) 2017.

Now, it may be safely assumed that the provisions of FRA 2006 have been implemented to achieve the feat of the best Forest Reserve protecting state among NE states. Implementation of FRA 2006 means that the scheduled tribes, other forest-dwellers and their villages have been recognised as revenue villages as mandated by the Act through proper/joint survey by revenue and forest departments.

Politics of de-recognition: The motive of Manipur govt in its move to target minority settlements around Imphal is more or less a politics of de-recognition of the identities of the residents in these places.

Going by the version of the locals and civil society organisations resisting the move of the govt to evict the Kshetri Bengoon Mamang Khunou/Ching residents, the occupation of the area began about 50 years back (since late 1970s or early 1980s).

Apparently, there was no demarcation/notification of Reserve Forest when the settlement began. Why govt did not issue show cause notice as soon as boundary pillars were erected?

Till 2012, there was no notice from govt side on the so-called Reserve Forest status of the site. Moreover, the residents are enrolled in electoral roll, village has public water supply infrastructure, Govt School under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan inaugurated last year, and villagers are receiving several other welfare schemes.

It is worth asking how the govt inaugurated school under the Reserve Forest site. The show cause notice conspicuously left out some residents for reasons best known to the concerned authority.

Is this govt indulging in real politik or pursuing certain political agenda?

The notice served to the villagers to come up with an explanation in 15 days as to why they should not be evicted has ignored the fact that elders of the settlement were labourers in the forest. Such labourers must be accorded certain rights/entitlements.

If the move is for conservation of forest land, then as per SFR 2017, the maximum reduction in forest cover is not in Imphal East district, but the govt seem to be oblivious to this fact.




* Mohammad Imtiyaj Khan wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer teaches at Gauhati University
This article was webcasted on March 27 , 2018.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Naorem Kalimohon Singh : A Profile
  • Floral tributes to PLA members #2 : Gallery
  • May I tie the knot with a Muslim woman ?
  • Quiz Competition at DM College
  • Cyber warfare: Estonia attack
  • Discussion : South China Sea Disputes
  • The Readers :: Book Discount @MU
  • Democracy: Is the countrymen listening?
  • From Nobap to the top stage
  • Cheiraoba Thabal by LGBTQ #1 : Gallery
  • Cheiraoba @ Kolkata : Gallery
  • Manipuri speaking diaspora in Assam
  • Mangginlian, Lalromawi :: eMing
  • Lomba: best garnish for Yongchak iromba
  • Modern civilisation in Manipur revisited
  • Earning the real good time
  • Meghalaya to consider implementation of ILP
  • NE girls held in Raipur for alleged sex trade
  • Pushing NH-37 to the back burner
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [14 Apr] : Gallery
  • Brajabashimayum Gopal : Akademi Award
  • EEVFAM vs UoI case at Supreme Court
  • Litmus test for Mizoram
  • The present trend of our educational system
  • The rift between parents & children
  • Everything to know about Dermaplaning
  • A heady affair
  • Raped and defiled : India's shame
  • Leima Jagoi @ JNMDA Day: Gallery
  • Right to Religion is a fundamental right
  • Who are Meeteis
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Meeting of Manipur photography Club
  • Dynamic Manipur's committee for 2018-20
  • BJP's Booth Level Training at Patsoi
  • Sexual violence against women
  • Yaoshang Halankar #2 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • TRAU Vs Mohammedan #2 : Gallery
  • Black sheep in ILPS movement #2
  • SC / HC verdict on Merger Agreement
  • How to practice homoeopathy
  • Sonowal's gesture to Assam journalists
  • Manipur observes flag hoisting day
  • Many unaware of sacrifices made by NE
  • Mary Kom claim gold in CWG
  • 573 identified for 'Smokeless Villages'
  • Floral tributes to PLA members #1 : Gallery
  • Sikkim University Prospectus : Download
  • Schools are fine, colleges are not
  • The Deceptive Appearance :: Poem
  • Sports for peace and development
  • On organizing Thabal Chongba in Delhi
  • People's bishop gets Bharat Gaurav Award
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Banning the Bandh
  • A strong Opposition is healthy
  • Yangkhulen (57 Km from Maram) : Gallery
  • Statehood Women's Polo #2 : Gallery
  • An autobiography of MK Priyobarta
  • Lamkoi Shirui Camp 2.0 at Ukhrul
  • RIST Talk -35 @MU : Thermal plasma
  • Police Harassment of Human Rights Activist
  • Favouritism of PDA Govt is shameful
  • Where the mind is without fear
  • End authoritarian rule call of Cong
  • 'HUN' Thadou Cultural Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Kabui Dance @JNMDA : Gallery
  • Gangmei Aluna Kabuini : Nrityabhusan
  • Good & bad of Nung hawai consumption
  • Sadar Hills District Demand :: Timeline
  • Meitei - Scheduled Tribe ?
  • Career options after graduation
  • Food safety concerns
  • Response to Rijiju: Stand off on sovereignty
  • Two Princes :: Funga Wari
  • Yaoshang Sport @Bamon Leikai: Gallery
  • Armed Force (Special Power) Act 1958 #3
  • Cry of a Dying River - 25 :: Poem
  • Centre for Vietnam Studies, New Delhi
  • Leingakki Firem Handoktriphaoba..
  • Seeking report on Thoungamba's death
  • 3rd Northeast Fiesta 2018 : Event Report
  • Traffic: Still yet to find a lasting solution
  • From Go to Hills to Go to Village
  • NESO demands ILP in Northeast
  • Md Awaysh Khan: Mr. India : Gallery
  • Horizon : An Exhaustive Review
  • Is Delhi serious to resolve Naga issue?
  • JRF position wanted at Manipur University
  • Dams & hydropower push in Himalayas
  • Can satan encourage hard work ?
  • DGP distributed DG Commendation Discs
  • Of attack and threat to common men
  • Ruling out sovereignty, integration
  • Folk Dance @Retreat ceremony #4: Gallery
  • The entry of Gorkha in Manipur
  • Khelen Thokchom, some fond memories
  • The Singing Stones :: Poem
  • 109 Bn, CRPF celebrated 28th Raising day
  • Swarajya Magazine tender apology
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Women Final: Governor Polo #2 : Gallery
  • Air pollution is an invisible killer
  • Manipur as part of India during Krishna
  • Global Shapers is calling for Application
  • Heart OPD & Free Echo Screening Camp
  • Winter School 2018 at NEHU concluded
  • On forged cheque issue: Pandora Box
  • Accounting for two of 4 won so far
  • Naga pact wont affect territorial integrity
  • Mahesh Thounaojam #2 : eRang Photos
  • TRAU Vs Mohammedan #1 : Gallery
  • Science of stink: Dealing with odour
  • Time lost cost in cyber crime: IGI Airport
  • BJP Patsoi : 38th Foundation Day
  • The making of sports powerhouse
  • Rape in the land of Meira Paibis
  • Kamo Hau Culturals @Kamjong: Gallery
  • Armed Force (Special Power) Act 1958 #2
  • Cry of a Dying River - 24 :: Poem
  • Tribute to Khelen Thokchom
  • Last of his ilk
  • Open letter to Jaideep Majumdar- Swarajya
  • Effort to make our leader understand
  • RIMS road heist : Daylight robbery
  • Major Bob Ralengnao Khathing
  • Pung Chollom @JNMDA : Gallery
  • Mnipur Ima :: Seireng
  • Kou-kha : Wetland tuber cash crop
  • Jobs at Don Bosco Tech Society
  • NPF replies to news portal report
  • The Killing Fields (2013-17) :: Timeline
  • Prohibition against peoples' will
  • Congress in its avatar as an Oppn
  • Mukna Khong Kangjei #2: Gallery
  • Partnerships should be based on solidarity
  • Volunteers for Green Khamasom (VGK)
  • Social media: Boon or medium to hurt..
  • A requiem for Ta Khelen
  • Northeast Fiesta 2018 at Jalandhar, Punjab
  • Jobs @ PR Enterprises, Khurai
  • Vegetables grown @Thanga #2: Gallery
  • Khaidem Tarubi :: Akademi Awards
  • Angaobi :: Poem
  • A cocktail of mythology, science & religion
  • Beauty benefits of tomatoes
  • Condolence message for Khelen Thokchom
  • Communal politics in social media
  • RIP Tamo Khelen .. always in our heart
  • Blank Editorial
  • Tributes to Khelen Thokchom : Gallery
  • Men Final: Governor Polo #1 : Gallery
  • Armed Force (Special Power) Act 1958 #1
  • Scientific Perspective: Biren's speech
  • Ukhrul Sanitary Movement & social evil
  • JFA express grief at Thokchom's demise
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa #3 : Gallery
  • April Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Thangjiyen: Culinary item during Cheiraoba
  • Nongthombam Biren hasn't a clue
  • Easter: A moment of reorganization
  • A Spark of My Poem :: Poem
  • Asian solidarity on the Rohingya crisis
  • The blunder in Indian Political system
  • Respecting the essence of Good Friday
  • Folk Dance @Retreat ceremony #3: Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chingkaba #3: Gallery
  • Dr. Athouba honored Hindi Sevi Pracharak
  • Jobs for Imphal & Other District
  • Response to N Biren's shameful speech
  • CM Biren must apologize to the people
  • Manipur CM's derogatory statement
  • Being Hindu does not required Mythological..
  • Women Final: Governor Polo #1 : Gallery
  • Ringui Luira Phanit @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Powerlooms' entry should not be invasive..
  • Rethinking on Yaosang: Sports & tourism
  • Cry of a Dying River - 23 :: Poem
  • Surprising myths & facts about makeup
  • On CM speech at Gujarat : Safronising NE
  • Ongoing talks with UNC : April 10 deadline
  • Landscape from Koubru #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport - Marathon #2: Gallery
  • Old Imphal town and Meitei Yumjao
  • Migrants trapped in quagmire
  • Doubling farmers income: Strategies
  • Airtel: preferred network for Aircel customers
  • Haunted by the past
  • Stand off over 7th Pay
  • Kabokki Nong :: Funga Wari
  • Governor's Cup Polo #2: Gallery
  • PM at Science Congress @MU #2: Gallery
  • Architecture as career choice
  • Bhabananda visit Manipur House, Delhi
  • Seminar on role of CBOs & NGOs at RGU
  • Cross border smuggling: lures & liabilities
  • Addressing gap between hills and valley
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni @Longmai (TML) #5 : Gallery
  • Tripartite Talks with UNC : Gallery
  • Manipur Documentary & Animation Festival
  • Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham: Biography
  • PM Narendra Modi @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chingkaba #2: Gallery
  • Challou River, Ukhrul District : Gallery
  • Shopping: Sajibu Nongma Panba #2: Gallery
  • Jobs @SAIRAM at Langjing Achouba
  • Enakta Leiringei (Film) #2 :: eRang
  • Stall @Science Congress, MU #2: Gallery
  • Cheirao Chingkaba @Singjamei : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Cooking Contest #2 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #4 : Gallery
  • Bor-keina race @Yaoshang Fest : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #1: Gallery
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS