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After Manipur sees violence over eviction, Forest Minister Bhupender Yadav says government doing it’s Constitutional duty

While Manipur‘s hill districts witnessed violence over eviction on forest and reserved forest, Environment Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav said that state government is doing it’s Constitutional duty.

Yadav told media persons in Imphal that under forest act of 1927 forest was a state subject after the amendment in 1976 forest was put in concurrent list however it is state government’s responsibility to protect and preserve forest and reserve forest.

He added, “The state government here is doing it’s Constitutional duty. “

No fresh incidents of violence was took place on Sunday in Churachandpur district.

A senior police official said that the indefinite night curfew, which was imposed by the district administration in the Churachandpur district from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Saturday, would continue until the further order.

Shops, business establishments and markets were reopened on Sunday. Roads which were full of stones, tyres, tree trunks gathered by the agitators and other barricades put up to restrict the movement of traffic during the agitation were cleared.

The district authority had also suspended mobile internet services to prevent the rumour and sharing the video and other messages.A government building was set on fire on Friday night.The Range Forest Officers office in Tuibong area was torched around midnight.

The Manipur government has prohibited large gatherings and mobile internet services suspended in Churachandpur and Pherzawl district.

On Friday, eight-hour shutdown, called to protest against the eviction of Kuki villagers from protected forests, paralysed normal life in the tribal-dominated southern Manipur district. On Friday clashes erupted between demonstrators and police at Sadbhavna Mandap in New Lamka in Churachandpur district, the venue where Chief Minister N Biren Singh was scheduled to address a public meeting.

Mob set on fire the venue of an event to be attended by the Chief Minister allegedly over the BJP government’s survey of reserved and protected forests and areas like wetlands on Thursday.

The Chief Minister’s visit to the district on Friday was cancelled. Biren was scheduled to inaugurate a gym and sports facility in the district.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum has called a bandh in the district on Friday from 8 am to 4 pm and normal life was paralysed owing to the bandh.

The organisation alleged that despite several memorandums on the ongoing eviction drive to clear reserved forested areas of farmers and other tribal settlers, the government has not taken any note.

Kuki Students’ Organisation has also come out in support of the forum, alleging “step motherly treatment to tribal people.” The government earlier this month demolished three churches in Manipur, which it said were “illegal constructions”.

The Manipur government in March this year decided to withdraw from the tripartite talks and Suspension of Operations (SoO) signed with three underground tribal militant outfits.

Earlier Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi, and apprised him about the ‘ground situation’ and ‘adverse activities’ of three outfits — the Kuki National Army (KNA), Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) and Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA).

The Manipur government’s decision to withdraw from SoO and tripartite agreement with three insurgent groups on March 10 was in accordance with its assessment that these outfits are supporting the influx of Myanmarese immigrants from across the border, encouraging illegal poppy cultivation and the drug trade.

KNA, ZRA and KRA are instigating the poppy cultivators in the state against the government, which has been taking action against illegal poppy cultivators, and destroying poppy fields in the forest lands, especially in the reserve and protected forest.

On March 10, tribal organised protest rallies against the state government. A peaceful protest turned violent in Kangpokpiat Kangpokpi town in Manipur. Five people were injured in the incident.

The protestors alleged that certain lands in the hill districts have been wrongly declared as either Reserved Forest or wetlands by the state government. The rally was organised against the alleged forceful eviction and demolition without proper rehabilitation or resettlement for the affected families.

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