Kpi CSOs, L Tangnaum chief decry NSU site selection

KANGPOKPI, 30th July: The ‘Bandh Free District’ sentiment of CSOs of Kangpokpi district is likely to be compromised subsequent to the state government narrowing down on Koutruk village as the site for establishing the proposed National Sports University. Newly created Kangpokpi district has been free from disruptive agitations ever since it attained districthood on December 8 midnight, 2016 as the CSOs have been pioneering for a bandh free district.

However, CSOs Kangpokpi District have decided to shelve its commitment and begin their first ever intense form of agitation from 6 am of August 7 if their demand over the issue of National Sports University is not addressed positively within the stipulated time. The decision to launch protest was taken in a joint meeting held on Sunday at Kangpokpi DHQs during which many criticised the alleged belittling of the humble appeals and numerous memoranda submitted to the Chief Minister to look into the dispute related to setting up of the University at the so-called Koutruk, Senjam Chirang and Sejam Khunou area.

They pointed out that an order issued by the state government on December 28, 2016 for allotting 325.60 acres of land to the Director, Youth Affairs & Sports, under Dag.No.1 of village No.47-Koutruk included a land measuring about 137.62 acres of Haraothel, now LTangnaum village. “L Tangnaum, previously known as Haraothel village is legitimately under Saitu-Gamphazol sub-division in Sadar Hills, now Kangpokpi District”, the meeting noted and added that unfortunately the state government innocently or intentionally ignored this fact and failed to acknowledge the same.

The speakers also pointed that chief of L Tangnaum village is not against setting up of NSU but is merely demanding that his ownership of the land be acknowledged by rectifying the government order on land acquisition. They also asked the state government to put on hold all construction works at the disputed site till the dispute has been settled along with cautioning that CSOs Kangpokpi have decided to dissolve the commitment for a bandh-free district from August 7 onwards in case the demands are ignored and process of dispute settlement is not initiated by the government at the earliest possible.

On the other-hand, disappointed with the statement of Chief Minister N Biren Singh with regard to NSU, Village Authority of L Tangnaum has asserted that the villagers will not welcome the government decision but oppose the same at all cost. L Tangnaum village chief, H Vaiphei lamented that instead of solving the land dispute, the Chief Minister inviting the Prime Minister to lay foundation stone amounts to discriminatory policy on the part of the BJP-led government in Manipur.

As announced earlier the villagers are not against establishment of the university but if any portion of the land is to be affected the Government should follow due process of land acquisition which in the present case has been completely ignored, he maintained. Claiming that the allotment order was never published in the official Gazette, the village chief also reminded that as L Tangnaum is a recognised hill village within Kangpokpi district any land allotment is subject to relevant provisions of the Manipur Legislative Assembly (Hill Areas Committee Orders, 1972 and the Manipur Hill Areas District Councils Act, 1971.

While drawing the attention of the Prime Minister, he said that the state’s Revenue Department has no authority regarding allotment of land of hill villages along with cautioning that the state government’s discriminatory policy might lead to animosity between the people of hills and plain and consequently derail establishment of the sports varsity at the present location.

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