Police thwart proposed rally of displaced Loktak fishers

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IMPHAL, November 20: The displaced fishers of Loktak Lake who have been camping near Kwakeithel Tiddim Ground in connection with a proposed mass rally demanding proper resettlement policy from the government were dispersed by the police at around 6 pm today.

The displaced families were planning to organize a mass rally and submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister tomorrow.

However, they were forcibly driven out of the camp and made to return home by Imphal west police commandos. The fishers have in the meantime reportedly scattered around Imphal.

The police personnel also reportedly sabotaged the temporary kitchen where they were preparing food and splash water on their cooking pots.

Meanwhile, one of the displaced fishers informed that a police team led by Bishnupur SDPO and other personnel of the Moirang police were checking passenger vehicles along the Tiddim road if there were any fishers coming in groups.

He further condemned the police action and also informed that the displaced fishers will hold a peaceful demonstration.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), Manipur has demanded the state government to implement Fishermen’s Welfare Protection Act and review Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006.

Speaking to media persons today, vice-president of BJP Manipur Pradesh, Salam Ibohal stated that the party strongly condemns burning down of fishers’ residential huts on the Loktak Lake by the state authorities on November 12. 

The compensation amount of Rs. 40,000 is not enough for resettlement of the displaced families. The state government should take up adequate measure to ensure better livelihood of the Loktak fishers, he enjoined.

Ibohal also drew the attention of the state government to preserve the indigenous lifestyle on the Loktak Lake.

Vice-president of BJP, Prof S Tiken stated that Union home minister P Chidambaram himself should clarify on “Supra State Body” rather than by the chief Minister.

Meanwhile, it may be mentioned that according to reports fishers from around 2000 floating huts have been rendered homeless since eviction started on November 15. There are also around 500 children among the displaced fishers.

The fishers were seeking refuge at the District Multi-purpose Mini Stadium, Ningthoukhong Kha Mamang Leikai for some time, however the district administration had ordered the evicted families to shift from there, as reported earlier.

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