IMPHAL, December 19: Hundreds of people under the aegis of All Manipur Thanga People’s Welfare Association and All Loktak Areas Fishermen’s Union today carried out a mass rally against the forceful eviction of Loktak fishers.
The rally was started from Thanga Chingang Bazar and it was supposed to continue till LDA Office. However, they were blocked at Ithil Chingjin by a team of Moirang police.
More than 100 rounds were blank fired by the police to disperse the rally. 10 demonstrators were injured during police action.
A public meeting was later convened in the evening at a community hall near Moirang.
The locals present at the meeting expressed their angst towards the Loktak Lake Protection Act saying that the act is designed to deprive the rights of the fishermen rather than protecting the sanctity of Loktak Lake.
The fishers would launch stern agitations until the state government repeals the anti-fishermen Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006.
One fisherman Maipak stated that the fishermen of Loktak Lake are supporting their family with meagre income they get from fishing. The forceful eviction of the Loktak fishers will deprive the ‘‘right to life’’ of thousands of families who depend on the Loktak Lake directly or indirectly.
He further made a clarion call to the fishermen to carry on the agitation until their demands are fulfilled by the state government.
Chief Minister keeps his vision on Loktak for the development of tourism rather than protecting the degrading environment of this lake, Maipak averred.