Churachandpur eviction drive clashes between cops and villagers

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Churachandpur eviction drive clashes between cops and villagers

Manipur: On February 20, a major clash broke out between the villagers of Songjang village near Churachandpur and the policemen when a team of officials arrived at the site for eviction.

The eviction drive was allegedly carried out in Songjang village, located along the old Cachar road, about 30 km from Bishnupur district headquarters.
The eviction team led by ADGP L Kailun and IGP Themthing Muivah was formed by residents who were against the eviction drive.

A few of the protesting villagers sustained minor injuries in the clash with the police.
Despite strong opposition from the villagers, the eviction campaign was carried out. The village church was one of twelve buildings destroyed.
Commenting on the incident, a Paominlun from K Songjang village said that the relevant authorities have informed him that it is against the law to settle along the highway.

He asked, “Under which clause or article of the Indian Constitution is it illegal to settle on the side of the highway?”
Paominlun accused and questioned the rationale behind carrying out the eviction campaign cautiously, without any prior notice or threat to the villagers. Noni DFO staff visited the village on February 19 and warned them that an eviction drive would be launched. He also threatened the villagers to keep the information confidential.
“We have pleaded with the concerned authority not to carry out the eviction on humanitarian grounds, but it has been blatantly ignored,” he added. He added that school-going children returning home in the afternoon were seen crying after seeing their houses piled up with rubble.
According to reports, the villagers protested by staying in the demolished houses and refusing to leave.

KSO Leimata, KSO Churachandpur, and Kuki Khanglai Lawmpi (KKL) are among the civil society organizations that have reached the site to assess the situation.
A local MLA Letzamang Haokip also came and reached Imphal to meet the Chief Minister to discuss the issue.

Rehabilitation facilities have been established by KSO Leimata and KKL Leimata for the affected villagers.

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