IMPHAL, Jul 1: Enraged by non-distribution of rice to the exact quantity entitled under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), a large group of beneficiaries today impounded several bags of rice from an FPS agent at Seijang and delivered them back to a Government godown. Notably, Seijang village is located within Lamlai AC, the home constituency of CAF&PD Minister Ksh Biren. Of late, there have been many complaints and even protest agitation against alleged siphoning off of rice entitled to NFSA beneficiaries. Speaking to media persons today, JAC Against Misuti-lization of Rice Allocated Under NFSA Seijang secretary Mutum Thoibisana said that they would not accept NFSA rice until they are given to the full quantity as enti- tled to them under the Act.
The total number of NFSA beneficiaries for Seijang Awang, Seijang Mayai and Seijang Makha is 249. Out of them, 222 are priority card holders while 27 are AAY card holders. A few days back, FPS agent Huidrom Manaoton said that only 16 Kgs of rice could be distributed to each beneficiary. But again, he informed that 3 Kgs would be deducted from each beneficiary. Taken aback and aggrieved by the new information, the beneficiaries held a meeting and constituted the JAC. Members of the JAC even staged a protest demonstration on June 29. According to guidelines, each member of a beneficiary household should be given 5 Kgs of rice.
Pointing out that 13 Kgs of rice to each beneficiary is too less, the beneficiaries appealed to the FPS agent to increase the quantity of rice but the FPS agent maintained that he was helpless. The matter was taken up even with the concerned DC and the concerned Minister. They maintained that they issued full quantity of rice entitled to the beneficiaries, Thoibisana said. In the meantime, FPS agent Huidrom Manaoton lifted 40 quintals of rice from godown and unloaded them at his home yesterday. On learning about this, a large group of beneficiaries went to Manaoton’s home yesterday seeking explanation for lifting rice when there were objections against the quantity to be distributed to each beneficiary but Manaoton was not found at his home.
Subsequently, the beneficiaries loaded all the rice bags in a truck and took them back to Government godown yesterday itself. 18 other bags of lifted by another FPS agent for distribution to beneficiaries of Seijang Chonthaba were also taken back by JAC members to the Government godown today. “No beneficiary would accept rice if is not distributed to the full quantity as entitled under NFSA and we would launch different modes of agitation if the wrongdoings are not rectified”, Thoibisana added.