By Dr. Khomdon Singh Lisam
On 8th February, 2013, I filed one RTI under RTI Act-2005 to the Director of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Lamphelpat, Imphal to furnish certain information regarding illegal encroachment by private organisations, religious institutions or private individuals in the RIMS complex. I requested the Director to furnish (1) names of Temples, Mosques, Churches located in the RIMS complex. (2) Since when the Temples, Mosques, Churches are located inside the RIMS complex, (3) Area of land occupied by each religious institution, boundary of area occupied by each of the Temples, Mosques, Churches, (4) Names of the organisations running the Temples, Mosques, Churches, (5) Names of the main functionaries of the Temples, Mosques, Churches with designations .(6) Whether the land is allotted in the name of the Temples, Mosques, Churches . I requested him to provide a copy of the Dak Chitha or Patta no allotted with details of Dak Chitha or Patta for each of the illegal encroachers , if any.
On 12th July, 2013, I also filed another RTI to the Deputy Commissioner , Imphal West to furnish a copy of the Patta of the area of the RIMS and also the furnish details of the same information as mentioned above. The Asstt. Survey And Settlement officer , Government of Manipur vide their letter no. 1/AS&SO –IE-IW/DS&LR dated 19th September 2013 has furnished the reply .
I received two letters signed by the Deputy Director, RIMS vide no. B/2830/2012-RIMS(RTI):/2835 dated the 20th August, 2013 and a letter dated 19th September, 2013 on the subject-indicating the details. The total area of land of RIMS is about 300 Acres and there are three illegal encroachers in the RIMS campus disturbing and blocking further developments of RIMS. These three encroachers are giving a violation of the rights of the Medical Students and the general public. I am utterly distressed by the facts pointed out by the Deputy Director, RIMS. The present Director, RIMS also mentioned that no director RIMS had given any permission to anybody to construct the churches during the last few years. There is no Hindu Temple, or Mosque , or Buddhist Temple in the RIMS complex.
On the basis of the records furnished by the Deputy Director, RIMS and the Asstt. Survey and Settlement officer, Government of Manipur, I filed one PIL case to the Hon’ble Manipur High Court. I submitted the PIL application to the Hon’ble High Court along with documents and photographs in October, 2013.
As per record, there are three illegal encroachers inside the RIMS complex :-
(1) Popular Pisciculture Association, Manipur Regd no . 3440 of 1981 , Purana Rajbari , Opposite Kusum Oil Pump, P.O Imphal and P.S Porompat, Imphal East, Manipur encroaching 12.1573 hectares (more than 12 Paris) of land under RIMS. The Schedule of area of the Popular Pisciculture Association are –on the north -Organic Farming , on the south – MPTC- Minor Irrigation, on the east – drain,, Road from Minor Irrigation . on the west , Mechanized Firm and RIMS.
(2) Lamphel Rongmei Baptist Church (LRBC) encroaching 500 sq.m ( 0.1173 hectare under Dag no.. 2106 of RIMS approximately , Building area – 34 x 18 sq. m : Name of the Pastor- Namga Gangmei
(3) Lamphel Baptist Church (LBC) encroaching 300 sq.m (0.797 hectare- under Dag no.. 2071 of RIMS . Building area – 16 x 13 sq. m , Name of the Pastor- K. Jenishing
I mentioned that the land illegally occupied by the three encroachers belong to the RIMS campus as per record of the Director of Settlement & land Records under New Patta no 714 covered by different Dag nos. including Dag no. illegally occupied and encroached by the three encroachers.
I also mentioned that under Article 25 of the constitution of India, freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propaganda of religion is allowed . But it is subject to public order, morality and without violating the laws of the land.. Again under Article 26-Freedom to manage religious affaires is allowed and this too without violating the prevalent laws.. At the same time, illegal encroachment of somebody’s land without patta (Jamabandi) is illegal and punishable under law and whatever construction happened should be demolished without compensation. This is a crime. This is like constructing my house in your patta land ( Ingkhol) without your permission. It can be demolished any time. This is the law in India and in Manipur . The illegal encroachers should not violate law in the name of religion.
From the facts and circumstances stated above, it is absolutely clear that the two churches , who are illegal encroachers are still standing and functioning within the RIMS campus for the benefit of few Christian members disturbing the academic atmosphere, peace and tranquillity of the medical college campus. The Director, RIMS also mentioned that the Popular Pisciculture Association, Manipur is illegally occupying more than 12 Paris of land and when he started constructing internal roads, some groups of people hired by the Pisciculture Association came out ready to fight with them and blocked the road construction. This is very uncivilised way of illegally acquiring the land for their own vested interest. I hope, all the three illegal encroachers are also interested in proper functioning of RIMS.
The Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal , Manipur was established in the year 1972 under the leadership of Md.. Alimuddin, the then Chief Minister of Manipur. This is an institution of regional importance catering to the needs of the North Eastern India in the field of imparting undergraduate and post graduate medical education . The Institute brings together educational facilities for the training of personnel in all important branches of medial specialities in one place. The institute has produced 2696 MBBS doctors and 913 Post Graduate doctors as on 31 August, 2012 . The institute has 20 specialities and super specialities. Altogether 289,442 OPD patients and 106735 emergency patients have been treated in the hospital during 2011-2012. Altogether, 5816 major operations have been performed during the year 2011-2012. The Institute is affiliated to the Manipur University, Canchipur, Imphal.
The Institute was transferred to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India from the North Eastern Council, Shillong under the Ministry of DONER , Government of India w.e.f 1st April, 2007. Under the existing administrative set-up, the highest decision making body is the Board of Governors headed by the Hon’ble Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, as the President, . the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Manipur as the Vice President , the Director of RIMS as Member Secretary with 10 other members. The Government of India is planning to upgrade the status of the RIMS to that of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (AIIMS). Recently, the RIMS have started one Dental College and one Nursing College in the same complex.
The areas illegally occupied by the three encroachers have been already earmarked for construction of offices, wards for patients and hostels for the medical students and Nurses . The three illegal encroachers are blocking further development of prestigious medical college. Is it not the duty of each and every one of us to strengthen and improve the RIMS in the best possible manner in the greater interest of medical education, medical care in particular and in the greater interest of people of Manipur. I may like to appeal to the Popular Pisciculture Association, Manipur to vacate the illegal occupation of land immediately. I am also appealing to the organisers of the two churches kindly to shift the two churches to some other place and demolish the present illegal structures in greater public interest as responsible citizens. Moreover, I, most respectfully appeal to the Hon’ble Chief Minister Manipur, who is the Vice President of the Board of Governors , RIMS to instruct the Director, RIMS to expedite the eviction of the three illegal encroachers without further loss of time to save the prestigious medical college in greater public interest. I may be allowed to appeal to Hon’ble Gaikhangam, the Minister of Home and Deputy Chief Minister, Manipur to facilitate in the process without hurting the sentiments of any community in the greater interest of the RIMS and the people of Manipur.
Now the case is in the Hon’ble Manipur High Court. I , as a law-abiding citizen of India have immense faith in the integrity and justice of the Hon’ble Manipur High Court. To me, the High Court is the fountain of justice -free from undue pressure and influences from any quarter. I have prayed to the Hon’ble High Court to instruct the authorities of the RIMS to issue eviction order and implement the eviction of the three illegal encroachers order without further delay . In the interim , I have also prayed to the Hon’ble Manipur High Court that the Director, RIMS may be instructed to provide some space (about 500 Sq. m for each) for prayer of Hindus , Sanamahis, Muslims, Buddhist, Jains and Sikhs as a token of respect to other religions in the name of secularism until the eviction of the three illegal encroachers is carried out.