“Save Loktak Lake” call sounded out at Thanga

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IMPHAL, April 7: A one day `Save Loktak Lake campaign` was held today at the Thanga Chinglak Bazar organized by several organizations.

Demanding for the state to fulfill demands including establishment of a new Fishermen Welfare (Protection) Rights Act by getting rid of the Loktak Act and stopping all forceful evictions of fishers from the floating huts, the organizations set April 15 for the Government to act on their demands.

Unless the government fulfill the demands by the set deadline, the organizations in collaboration with several other CSO will take up several forms of agitations, said a volunteer.

The campaign was organized by the International Peace and Social Advancement (IPSA); Centre for Organisation Research & Education, CORE; Community on Human Rights COHR; National Identity Protection Committee, NIPCO.

Addressing the campaign, a volunteer said that during the last general elections, the people had appealed to the local MLA to amend the Loktak protection Act, following which certain sections of the Act were amended. He said, however at present, the situation is the same as what it was before the amendment of the Act.

He said the Act has created much difficulty for the people including the fishermen inhabiting the area.

He said burning of the floating huts inhabited by fishers in the name of cleaning Loktak Lake is a crime.

Meanwhile, the campaign also resolved to take up strong action and stop all Government acts taken up at Loktak Lake unless it stops the forceful eviction of fishermen from the floating huts against the interim order of the Gauhati High Court.

It was also resolved to demand from the Government for the establishment of a new Fishermen Welfare (Protection) Rights Act by getting rid of the Loktak lake (Protection) Right 2006; to demand for rehabilitation and resettlement for the fishers and for the decommissioning of the Loktak project undertaken by the National Hydro Electric Power Corporation.

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