Manipur: Protest Over Wildlife Sanctuaries ‘Encroaching’ On Tribal Lands Turns Violent


IMPHAL: Violent clashes broke out in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district when police tried to stop locals who organised a protest rally, alleging encroachment of tribal lands by reserved forests and wildlife sanctuaries. Defying prohibitory orders, people gathered in large numbers near Thomas in Kangpokpi town on Friday for the protest rally called by different bodies, including the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), police said.

However, an altercation broke out as police tried to disperse the protesters, subsequently leading to violent clashes.

At least five protestors were wounded as teargas shells were lobbed, while a few police personnel also sustained injuries after being hit by stones, officials said.

The situation was later brought under control, they said.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh said the protesters were challenging the constitutional provisions.

“They were challenging the constitutional provisions… The people there were encroaching reserved forests, protected forests and wildlife sanctuaries for poppy plantation and drugs business. That’s the reason why the rally was organised,” he said.

The protesters later submitted a memorandum to Governor Anusuiya Uikey through Kangpokpi deputy commissioner Kengoo Zuringla.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC were imposed in Kangpokpi and Churachandpur districts on Thursday.

Meanwhile, several organisations of the Naga community, including the Maram Union, Mao Union and Rongmei Naga Council Manipur, said that ITLF is a newly-formed body and it does not represent the indigenous people of the state.


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