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Agitators torch two vehicles, eviction still going on

IMPHAL | Jul 3 : One Maruti 800 and a Honda Activa were burnt today during the 72 hours total shut down imposed by All Manipur Muslim Organisations Co-ordinating Committee (AMMOCOC) against the ongoing eviction.

The agitators against eviction burnt down the two vehicles today at around 3 pm at Khabeisoi, Imphal East near oil pump.

It is said that a confrontation took place between police and agitators at the area. To control the agitators, police fired tear gas shells and the agitators also pelted stones in retaliation. Alleging that a heavy vehicle workshop helped the police personnel to hide themselves inside, the agitators burnt down the car and the active which were being kept in the workshop.  

The workshop was located at Khabeisoi around hundred metres away from the oil pump. The people of the workshop alleged that the agitators burned the said vehicles without giving any notice beforehand or informing them.  

It is said that the car was kept there for some repairing purpose and the activa belonged to one of the mechanic employed at the workshop. The agitators also damaged other heavy vehicles which were there for repairing.

The car and the activa were burnt down into ashes in the middle of the road.

The shut down has paralysed all Muslim inhibited areas while another 72 hours general strike scheduled to launch at the midnight of July 2 has been called off by ‘JAC against forced construction of Mapithel Dam’ after a detailed discussion with chief minister.

The total shut down strike was first imposed by AMMOCOC for 24 hours, starting last Sunday against the government’s order to evict the residents from Awaching forest reserve area in Imphal East. Meanwhile, the strike has been extended to 48 hours across the state when the authority started the eviction yesterday morning.

AMMOCOC complains that the government on April 10 promised in a memorandum that it will not take up any activity that would be against people’s interest. However, the government issued an order and took up eviction all of sudden, it said.

Forest minister, Th. Shyamkumar said yesterday at a press conference that the eviction will continue without bias to any group of people and it is not done at the interest of one community. The eviction is still continuing and as well as the strike.

Yesterday, 74 houses were decimated as they were found constructed in the reserve forest area at Awaching, Imphal East. During the eviction, a Masjid was spared as religious structures were excluded as per law.

With the continuation of eviction today, a huge complex of ‘Nongpok Chingu Thong Thalo Sipi Lok’ was destroyed. It is a local religious complex composite of residential buildings, a temple and a community hall including other structures. In the destruction, the temple was spared.

When media sought comment from the temple community, no opinions were given from their side as well as the government officials involved in the eviction.

When the officials gave about one hour to vacate by their own, the temple authority did not make any response. The government officials started destroying the complex at around 1 pm.

The shut down against eviction affected normal lives at Minuthong, Hatta, Top Khongnangkhong and Khabeisoi area in Imphal East cutting off connectivity with the Imphal West.

According to officials, the eviction will be also conducted soon at Langol forest area.

Forest minister, Th. Shyamkumar cautioned that forest department will conduct similar eviction drive at the illegally encroached reserve forest areas in all the districts as per India Forest Act.

Besides, 72 hours bandh called by ‘JAC against forced construction of Mapithel dam’ scheduled to launch from yesterday midnight has been called off after a detailed discussion with chief minister yesterday late evening at CM’s secretariat.

The bandh was called against the government’s alleged failure to respond to the demands enlisted in an ultimatum that was submitted on May 30.

The ultimatum included demands for rehabilitation and resettlement compensation among others. It is the loss of the people, not only for the present, but for the generations to come, which is a worry to the people, said the JAC.

It said Mapithel dam was constructed against the wishes of the people. It has been demanding proper and deserving reward and compensation for the losses incurred by the affected people.

A 48 hours general strike is also lined up by ‘All Manipur Riflemen Viva Voice Completed Candidate 2016’ serving an ultimatum to declare the recruitment result by July 8 has prepared to launch the strike at the midnight of the same day. The viva voice for 441 vacant posts in Manipur Rifles was held on April 7.

~IFP

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