Evicted Lamphel residents cry foul

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IMPHAL June 11: The recently evicted persons of Lamphel Yaipha Leikai have demanded compensation and a resettlement area from the state government at the earliest.

Addressing mediapersons in the regard, Thongbram Gunadhor, a resident of Yaipha Leikai detailed on the present deplorable living conditions faced by the displaced persons.

He said that, an eviction notice signed by the sub divisional officer of Lamphel, Imphal West was put up at Yaipha Leikai on June 5 at 11 am. The following day, by using sheer force, the 14 houses and property were razed to the ground.

He also alleged that the eviction drive was discriminatory in nature stating that only the 14 houses and the residents have been evicted.

“ Only we have been displaced, if the government wants to evict all supposed encroachers from the Lamphel Khas land area for the proposed developmental works, then all the residents of the other nearby khasland areas should also be evicted. We have been victimized”, he said.

Gunadhor also mentioned that they have been residing at the area for more than forty years and have been allotted Dag Chitha’s (primary recognition papers issued by settlement department on land ownership),and added that the concerned MLA of the area W Brajabidhu should address the plight incurred by the displaced persons, who are mostly from the underprivileged section of the society.

Another evicted resident of the area, Maibam Nganbi, 70, voiced poignantly that they have been forcefully made to leave their homes.

“It is unjust that we have not been notified previously, how can we dismantle our houses and move to another place within a day, this is an inhuman act of the government, we are at the mercy of the elements now in makeshift shelters, where will we go, how will I survive”, her voice breaking, Nganbi fell down unconscious during the press meet.

Nganbi is a widow and her only son had died, leaving her to fend for the three grandchildren that he left behind. She has been meagerly managing to provide for her grandchildren by running a small hotel at Yaipha Leikai. Now, she and her grandchildren are living in a makeshift shelter at the Lamphel street side.

Mema Devi, also widowed at a young age echoed Nganbi’s statement and added that she and her infant has nowhere to go.

She has been living on a hand to mouth basis by fishing at the nearby waters and doing odd jobs for other people.

Several human right activists have condemned the sudden eviction of the underprivileged families, saying that it is a gross violation of human rights and amounts to targeting of the weaker section.

It was also pointed out during the conference that the future of the displaced helpless women and children are bleak and the state government needs to act in the interest of its public by awarding them adequate compensation and a resettlement area. The displaced persons of Yaipha Leikai numbers about 70 and are mostly women and children.

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