IMPHAL: Hundreds of Mapithel Dam affected villagers comprising of 23 villages come to the streets to protest for failing to translate yet into action till now, the long pending agreed terms and points demanding by the Joint Action Committee against force construction of Mapithel Dam and Mapithel Dam Affected Headmen Chiefs and Elders Organization (MDAHCEO) which was held on November 19, 2018 at CM Secretariat.
The 48-hour general strike effected from midnight of February 16 till 18 of February midnight was organised widely across the ranges of Mapithel dam namely Mahadev, Sikiphung, Gwalthabi, Risophung and Thangchingpokpi junctions.
During the protest, the vehicles of SDO Jessami were vandalised by the bandh supporters of MDAHCEO along Imphal-Ukhrul road. Later, at around 5:30 evening police resorted to firing tear gas to disperse all the bandh supporters at Sikiphung junction. It is said that three bandh supporters were get injured during the tear gas firing of police.
Mention may be made that ministers and MLAs namely Th. Shyamkumar, MLA Chingai A/c Khashim, MLA Phungyar A/c K. Leishiyo and various official of the related department were attended during the meeting.
Speaking during the protest at Mahadev Junction, vice-Chairman of MDAHCEO Thanmi Rimai said that during the meeting which was held at CM Secretariat on 19 of February 2018 seven points were agreed between JAC, MDAHCEO and state government. Some of the important points/demands agreed during the meeting were like, dam cannot be inaugurating till the pending package of the committee and JAC is being fulfil by the state government, economic package to every effected villages or households and future alternative arrangement like fishing rights, forest activities which should be taken by the village authority according to the culture and tradition, rehabilitation and resettlement and various others demands.
He further said that in the previous year 2019, the MDAHCEO and JAC appealed and demanded to the state government for a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) but remain silent and adding he said that on July 2019, Education Minister Th. Radheshaym himself promises to JAC to discuss the matter after right returned of CM in the state, which was out of station. But till now there is no invitation from the side of the government and even JAC asked for an appointment but kept postponed till date.
On November 2019, the JAC and MDAHCEO put lots of pressure to Secretariat, after that an official from the side of government come for a house verification counting in every household of the effected villages as a followed up programme of the agreed terms and points in 2018 namely rehabilitation and economic livelihood packages. Actually, there are 23 effected villages but they issued an order and cover only around 11 effected villages during house verification counting, said the vice-chairman.
He appealed to the state government to complete the house verification counting of all the left out villages at the earliest. He warned that if the state government does not take up and implement all the various demands at one time on this month, the JAC and MDAHCEO will organize different kind of strong agitations in the coming days. It is said that memorandum has been submitted to the chief minister and other concerned authorities, added the vice-chairman.