Sixty nine houses demolished in Waithou protected reserve forest area in Manipur

Reported by

Anurag Das

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Radhika Chatterjee

Updated by

Published on

July 20, 2022

July 20, 2022

Updated on

July 20, 2022

Location of Conflict

Waithou

Thoubal

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Forest Administration (Other than Protected Areas)

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

374

Households Affected by Conflict

69

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2022

State

Manipur

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

On June 12, 2022, Manipur forest department demolished housing settlements located inside Waithou protected forest reserve area in Thoubal district, as part of an eviction drive. The eviction was done in the presence of large number of security personnel, and led to a demolition of 69 houses deemed 'illegal structures' by the state forest department.

The eviction was carried out after a notice was served on the people living in the area on June 10, 2022 by District Forest Officer (DFO) of Thoubal. DFO stated that Dag chittas/ Jamabandi of land  issued in Waithou protected forest is in violation of laws relating to forest conservation. The eviction notice gave a show cause to the affected community asking them to submit their explanation as to why they shouldn’t be evicted. Officials did not find their explanation satisfactory, and declared it can’t be considered for certain reasons. Further, they also mentioned that the previous allotment to the land had been declared illegal and briefly cancelled by District commissioner of Thoubal district vide order 27/28/LS/DC(TBL)/2022 dated June 9, 2022. And went ahead with demolishing the houses.

Following the eviction order issued on June 10, 2022 ,a large number of angry protestors from Waithou Samgomsang and Usoipokpi village blocked National highway-102 that connects the state's capital, Imphal, with the border trade town of Moreh. In order to clear the roadblock Manipur Police forces fired several rounds of tear gas shells, leaving seven protestors injured.

It is estimated that around 374 people affected by this eviction are taking shelter at a  temporary relief camp at Lilong Haoreibi college which is set up by the help of local peoples. Lunghaolal Kuki, who works with a local non-profit organisation, told LCW that this  eviction led to dire situation for affected population as most of them are economically marginalised and have no resources to buy land or build a new house. In contrary to Government’s claim, members of the affected community have asserted the Waithou forest area as their ancestral land where they had been living since colonial times. They strongly condemned the sudden eviction notice and appealed to concerned authorities to conduct a re-survey of the area.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for re-survey of land

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Manipur Forest Rules, 2021
Rule no. 73 [Forest Officer to evict any encroachment/ trespass on forest land. Encroachers to be evicted without notice.]
Indian Forest Act, 1927
Section 72 [State government may invest any forest office with the power to hold inquiry into forest offences]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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

No

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

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Lathicharge/teargas/pellets

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Residents of Waithou Samgomsang and Usoipokpi area blocked the National highway-102 at Waithou Samgomsang, to protest the eviction order. This highway is crucial as it connects the capital city of Imphal with the border trade town of Moreh. During an attempt to clear the road block, State Police force took to tear gas shelling to disperse protestors, injuring seven protestors.

Date of Violation

June 10, 2022

Location of Violation

Waithou Samgomsang

Nature of Protest

Blockades

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Thoubal Forest department; Manipur Revenue department

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:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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