: Manipur: Violence Breaks Out in Churachandpur as Protests Against BJP Survey Continue #IndiaNEWSAll #Northeast Violence erupted on Friday night as security forces in Churachandpur district of Manipur
Manipur: Violence Breaks Out in Churachandpur as Protests Against BJP Survey Continue #IndiaNEWSAll #Northeast
Violence erupted on Friday night as security forces in Churachandpur district of Manipur used batons, tear gas and rubber bullets against those who were protesting the BJP government’s land survey. This took place only a night after the internet was shut down and Section 144 was imposed in the district in response to the burning of a gym that was to be inaugurated by Manipur CM N Biren Singh. Singh later said he cancelled his visit at the request of local MLA LM Khaute who had invited him.
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITFL) called a “total shutdown” from 8 am till 4 pm on Friday to press for their demands to call off the survey that residents believe could lead to the authorities declaring tribal land in hill districts as a Protected Area. On Friday, the police inflicted violence upon those enforcing the eight-hour shutdown. ITFL protestors also destroyed about 100 chairs and other equipment.
Violence was reported in New Lanka, Tuibong Bazar, Sielmat Bridge, Lanva Bridge and T Champhai. Internet has been further suspended for 5 days in Churachandpur and its neighbouring district Pherzawl for five days.
Tribal activist and chief of Bungmual village, H Mangchingkhup, told The Indian Express that the state government did not mention the purpose of the survey or consult any local leaders when it was conducted. “The only purpose I can perceive for such a survey is to declare our areas as protected forest, and subsequently our eviction from there,” Machingkhup said. “We will not take this lightly. ”
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The ITFL direct action efforts should not be painted as sudden escalation as they are the culmination of several months of rising tensions relating to indigenous land rights at the face of increasing evictions and state clampdown.
Earlier in February, several houses in Chhurachandpur’s K. Songjang village were demolished along the Churachandpur-Khoupum Protected Forest stretch for allegedly being built after 2021. A show-cause notice was also issued to residents of Kunpinaosen, Kangvai sub-division, Churachandpur, to vacate their houses for the same reason. The Deputy Commissioner of Churachandpur district even ordered a verification drive from February 27 to March 17 to identify ‘illegal immigrants’ in the district. According to the notice, all villagers would be required to give their biometrics for the drive, which raised privacy concerns and violated the right to bodily integrity.
In response to this, the ITLF, along with Kuki Innpi Manipur (KIM) and Kuki Students Organisation (KSO) organised a peaceful rally on March 10.