Land Take Over Slur On AR, Chandel Erupts

IMPHAL, May 19: Shops downed shutters, educational institutions and Government offices remained shut and vehicular movement decreased as citizen volunteers enforced a 12-hour bandh in Chandel district today.

The bandh call given jointly by Anal Naga Taangpi (ANTA), Anal Students’ Union and Anal Women Union from 5 am till 5 in the evening was against alleged sale/handing over ownership of a tract of land in between Malanglok and Hlungtetol to the Assam Rifles authorities by Modi Village authority without the knowledge or consent of the stakeholders.

With the short-cut road that connects Chandel district headquarters and Chakpikarong sub-division headquarters also falling within the ‘sold’ land, the agitating bodies are also demanding an alternative diversion route between the two locations.

While shops, schools and offices remained shut, suspected bandh supporters blocked various important roads by piling huge boulders and felling trees, besides burning discarded tires to discourage vehicular movement.

Even though the bandh passed off without any untoward incidents, ANTA president WNG Kohring Victor claimed that some individuals, who came in a Maruti Gypsy and a 407 Mini truck at around 3 pm, threatened some bandh enforcers against their mode of agitation.

Speaking to some news-persons at the Chandel town office of ANTA, Kohring said even though parting away of the said land to the Assam Rifles by Modi village head does not merit intervention by others, inclusion of the Chan- del-Chakpikarong short-cut in the sale calls for a reconsideration   for the route is an important link road and used by people from different villages.

Stating that plight of the villagers had already been intimated to the Chandel district Deputy Commissioner and Assam Rifles authorities, he expressed concern that till date no definite response has been given by authorities concerned.

Informing that the short-cut road has been relocated close to the Chakpi River bank with about 20-feet span, he pointed out that at least a 50-foot wide space is required as the Chakpi River is unpredictable during rainy season.

Kohring affirmed that similar movement would be launched till the demands get favorable response.

Capitalizing on the presence of newspersons, he said prior to operationalising the Chakpikarong Multi-purpose Project public opinion should be entertained for huge tract of agricultural land would submerge affecting at least 30,000 populations.

Anal Students ’ Union president PS Monihring, who also spoke to the media, said absence of teaching staff members had been pointed out at a joint meeting attended by officials of Government establishments, including Education department and described outcome of the meeting as positive.

Stating that Mata Union Higher Secondary School is the only place of higher education in the district, he called upon the teaching staff to ensure regular attendance.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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