IMPHAL, May 27: The Joint Action Committee formed against the eviction of Kabo Leikai residents took out a Mass Peace Rally and awareness meeting against the eviction today. Today’s rally was also supported and participated by the United Committee, Manipur. It may be mentioned that the the residents of the area were evicted on May 20 after a prolonged face-off between the government and residents regarding the eviction including a court case.
Protestors claimed today that 31 houses were evicted on May 20. Following much anguish and uproar from the evicted residents alleging the government to be insensitive to the plights of the residents, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi had clarified the government action in his speech during the 22nd Death Anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that the area is government khasland and that the evicted residents were encroachers.
The Chief Minister had also claimed that the government had been holding talks on the issue with the residents since the past two years.
Meanwhile, today’s mass rally against the eviction was also attended by people from other villages outside of the evicted area in a show of their concern and support of the JAC’s movement.
The rally started from MBC Recreation Centre Deulahland and after reaching Lilashing Khongnangkhong, Thangmeiband turned back to where it started from.
Speaking at a meeting at the MBC Recreation Centre, Naga River Lane, Kabo Leikai president ZV Wungshin said the village was inhabited harmoniously by several communities and could also be said to the most peaceful village inhabited by people of all communities.
He condemned the government action to evict the residents and said the eviction was carried out only to claim ownership of the land.
He demanded that all those Ministers and MLAs who had replied in the negative citing that it is the Chief Minister’s order, when appealed by the residents to reconsider the eviction should resign on moral ground.
Advocate, R Daniel said, “One day short notice of eviction given to the villagers is against the eviction law of minimum 10 days notice and in respect to removal of properties, atleast seven days must be given to the to be effected people/villagers as per the Manipur Public Premises (eviction of unauthorised occupants).
Elaborating further on the plight of the evicted residents, he said, on December 12, 2012; the government issued an order notifying to occupy the surrounding areas of Hotel Imphal. However, instead of just occupying the empty spaces around the hotel, the government has advanced beyond the empty spaces and reach into the homesteads of the residents, he maintained.
UCM, president Nabachandra also condemned the government action and further cited several other similar issues of land eviction under the present Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh adding that in the process, the population of displaced persons in the state has only increased.
He said the location is not suitable for the construction of a five-Star hotel and added that such hotels should be constructed outside the city limits.
Meanwhile, a statement of the JAC handed out to the media persons has said that the villagers have been paying Revenue Tax for the land they used by virtue of the pattas issued by the competent authorities.