One vehicle completely torched during railway works ban in Marangjing village

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TAMENGLONG | Dec 24 : As part of the ongoing ban on Railway works in Marangjing (Makhuam) village, a vehicle owned by Coastal Company was burnt down on December 23 for defying the ban on railway works.

According to the villagers, the incident occurred at around 8 pm yesterday, in which one Bolero bearing registration number MN02F12690 was totally burnt down into ashes near Ejei River, Kharam village. Another vehicle was also reportedly destroyed today by villagers of Marangjing village near Marangjing Part III village.

The villagers had imposed the ban on railway construction works in the village starting from December 20 on unresolved controversy on the impacts of railway and protesting the arbitrary compensation and rehabilitation works of the railway authorities.

The villagers earlier submitted a petition to the chief minister of Manipur on December 10 urging the state government to constitute a committee comprising senior officer not below the rank of chief secretary or additional chief secretary to recover the compensation amount illegally siphoned by Thaunkulung Gangmei and Kh. Lovejoy. The duo had claimed individual ownership over the major portion of lands of Marangching village, which was acquired for construction of NF Railway Broad Gauge (BG). Thaunkulung and Lovejoy also had withdrawn illegal compensation amount due to illegal acts of deputy commissioner, Armstrong Pame based on nullified copy of the Court orders and fabricated documents.

Consequently, the villagers of Marangjing village have decided to completely ban the railway works and appealed the Railway authorities to stop the railway works till the matter is amicably resolved in accordance with the demands of villagers. Moreover, the villagers stated that the railway authorities and concerned companies should bear all responsibility for all untoward incidents arising for non-compliance of the request.

The government should take necessary legal action against Armstrong Pame and his subordinate officials involved for causing the siphoning and the loss of public exchequer which values of more than 36 crores, demanded the villagers.

Further, the state government should also take action against the authority of United Bank of India for allowing the withdrawal of amounts despite the persisting controversy and timely notifications on illegal and fraudulent attempts by Thuankulung and Lovejoy.

It may be mentioned that on March 21, an award order was issued by the Tamenglong DC, Armstrong Pame stating that the ownership of the land is under dispute and any compensation payment be made based on the court decision. On June 9, the Court of Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, Resettlement Authority, Tamenglong District fixed June 30 as the date of hearing to appear the DC based on the summon letter dated June 13. Later, the DC modified the compensatory award two times in favour of Thaunkulung and Lovejoy on June 15 and 16. The Civil Court of Tamenglong dismissed the case on June 16 on non-application of jurisdiction. On the same day, the DC made cheque payment to the two individuals. On June 23, the villagers of Makhuam rejecting the DC’s compensatory award to the two individuals, submitted a memorandum to the chief minister of Manipur to halt the payment. On July 5, the villagers met with the DC and resolved to freeze the account of the duo. On August 28, the DC informed the villagers through SDO and SDC of Tamenglong district that compensation money had already been withdrawn by Thaunkulung. The petition by Makhuam villagers expressed concern with the arbitrary payment of compensation for land affected by railway works by the DC on July 16 to Thaunkulung and Lovejoy, despite objections of villagers of Makhuam village and also without considering the pending court matter. Eventually, the villagers submitted a memorandum to the DC on July 22, demanding re-transfer of the arbitrarily sanctioned amount to an appropriate government account before the July 31, followed by furnishing the related bank statement to the villagers of Makhuam village.

The villagers of Makhuam had made the representation to the CM demanding immediate intervention on the issue from the state government within 10 days, which is until December 19, failing which the villagers will launch intensive agitation including total ban of all construction works of Northern Frontier Railways within the areas of Makhuam village.


Source: Imphal Free Press

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