Road Connectivity Project Displaces Indigenous Kuki Tribe in Manipur, 18 Families Evicted

Reported by

East Street Journal AsiaLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

June 18, 2021

Location of Conflict

Moreh

M. Chahnou, SL. Gamnon, Ng. Moulom, Lhangnom Veng, Gangte Veng, Haijang Veng, T. Yangom, New Moreh, Ward No 9, Shijang Veng, Moreh Ward No 1 and T. Tonglhang villages

Tengnoupal

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

648

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

38

ha

Starting Year

2020

State

Manipur

Sector

Infrastructure

On November 3, 2020, 18 families belonging to the indigenous Kuki tribe were evicted in M. Chahnou and SL. Gamnon villages on the order of the deputy commissioner of Tengnoupal district. They were reportedly evicted because the government needed the land for the construction of the Moreh Integrated Check Point (ICP).  In the faceoff with residents, security forces hurled tear gas and smoke bombs to disperse the protesters. Some women resorted to seminude protests to resist force. Four police personnel and some protesters were injured, along with three women, who were also detained. The evictees alleged that the eviction was illegal and was carried out by the district administration without offering fair compensation and proper resettlement to the affected inhabitants. Onkhosei Baite, chief of T. Tonglhang village, told the media that there were lots of discrepancies in the compensation amount. "There are 26 households in T. Tonglhang village, and it is one of the largest affected villages, but the affected families here have received only INR 1 crore as compensation while the less affected villages have got more than INR 4 crore," he said. The district administration denied the claims and stated that all the eligible residents along the bypass road had been fairly compensated. The Moreh ICP is part of the SouthAsian road connectivity project**, *which is aimed at* **facilitating better trade relations among the South Asian countries bordering Manipur. The project is being funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). A total of 95.02 acres of land is required, of which 94.84 acres are private land. Of the total project area, almost 80 per cent of the land is either forestland, plantations, agricultural land, settlement areas, water bodies or rivers, passing through M. Chahnou, SL. Gamnon, Ng. Moulom, Lhangnom Veng, Gangte Veng, Haijang Veng, T. Yangom, New Moreh, Ward No 9, Shijang Veng, Moreh Ward No 1 and T. Tonglhang villages. Based on a full census survey, the project is estimated to affect 135 households. Of these, 18 households have already been displaced, while 117 households have lost their livelihood due to the acquisition of fertile land. The exclusion and nonprovision of compensation and adequate rehabilitation to the affected villagers violate the fundamental rights, provisions of the ADBs safeguard policies of 2009 and the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007.  A total of 29.516 kilometres of the project road passes through the Yangoupokpi Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary, including the ecosensitive zone and the buffer zone. Two Environmental Impact Assessments in July and August 2020 identify some key risks associated with the project, including negative impacts on wildlife, soil erosion, crossborder transmission of diseases and environmental pollution.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations, Demand for rehabilitation, Demand for promised compensation, Refusal to give up land for the project

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

281.3669651

Type of investment:

Investment Expected

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Land Reform Laws, Environmental Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Forced evictions/ Dispossession of Land, Non-payment of promised compensation, Non-rehabilitation of displaced people, Controversial land acquisition by the government , Violation of standard international laws , Violation of environmental laws, Violation of LARR Act

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Manipur at Imphal

Case Number

W.P. (C) No. 673 of 2020

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Displacement, Arrest/detention/imprisonment, Lathi charge/tear gas/pellets

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Eighteen families from the Kuki tribe were evicted. In the face-off, security forces hurled tear gas and smoke bombs to disperse the protesters. Some women resorted to semi-nude protests to resist force. Four police personnel and some protesters were injured, along with three women, who were also detained.

Date of Violation

November 3, 2020

Location of Violation

M. Chahnou and SL. Gamnon villages

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches, Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

LCW emailed a few questions to Rajesh Kumar Deol, senior external relations officer of the ADB but got no response.

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

International Human Rights Association

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

East Street Journal Asia

Reviewed By

East Street Journal Asia

Updated By

East Street Journal Asia

Edited By

East Street Journal AsiaLand Conflict Watch
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