Loktak fishermen accuses LDA of court order violation

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Manipur,IMPHAL, February 23: Loktak Development Authority officials led by Executive Engineer Kumarjeet and other two engineers, Gunamani and Subhas along with a large number of police personnel led by the Officer in Charge of Moirang police station went to the Langol Sabhi pat area and started destroying a hut built on the biomass (Phumdi) on the Loktak lake this morning at around 9.30 am.

Following the incident, a heated argument ensued between the LDA officials and the local fishermen leading to the police firing a round of bullets in the air.

One woman protestor reportedly fainted during the confrontation.

Argument between the LDA officials and the local fishermen at Langol Sabhi pat area of Lokatak on Saturday
Argument between the LDA officials and the local fishermen at Langol Sabhi pat area of Lokatak on Saturday

The hut which was destroyed belongs to Haobijam Premjit, 33, while another hut belonging to Haobijam Bino, 49 son of (L) Tondon was found partially damaged when a team of media persons reached the Langol Sabhi pat.

Speaking to the media, one of the fishermen said that at around 9 am today, a large number of police personnel along with the LDA officials led by the Executive Engineer came to the area in two motor boats along with biomass cleaning machine water master classic and asked all fishermen staying in the area to vacate their huts as they have been given an order by the chairman of the LDA to clear the area.

He further said that the LDA Executive Engineer also said they did not care about the legal notice issued by the Advocate of Guwahati High Court M Hemchandra which had directed the respondents to maintain the status quo of the biomass (Phum Hut) of the High Court under a case dated 25/ 01/ 2012 under case number MC (WP(C) No 385 of 2011 ( arising out of WP (C) No. 784 of 2011 petition filed by Oinam Rajen, secretary of All Loktak Lake Areas Fishermen’s Union as a representative in the Guwahati High Court).

The legal notice was addressed to the chairman of the LDA, Project Director LDA, Deputy Commissioner BIshnupur District and Bishnupur District Superintendent of Police on 16 February 2013. When asked by the fishermen to show the LDA order,  the engineer refused to show the same,  he said.

Speaking to the media person, a fisherman Haobijam Premjeet said that he had been staying in the Biomass hut in the area for more than 15 years as a fisherman with his family.  He further added that the LDA officials also threatened all of the fishermen of the area to vacate at the earliest and that the LDA would completely burn down all huts that remained standing.

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