28th and 29th March, Imphal
On the 28th March, the halt of the journey was at Asha Auditorium of city Imphal, the capital of Manipur. Speaking on the occasion, the president of All Manipur Muslim Women Organization, Mrs. Sitara Begam said that 80% of Muslim families living in the valley-region near the city of Imphal were shelterless and homeless who mainly worked as labourers for their livelihood. As many as 2000 shelterless families were united to create an organization. Applications for the permanent shelter have been submitted to the district and state administration but no progress have been done till now. Many families are unable to take advantage of education, medical facilities and others as they have no Identity Cards. Mrs. Sarita Devi from Kasturba Gandhi Institute for Rural Development told that the transfer of agricultural land for industrial and residential projects had been done on a large scale during last ten years. As estimated, about 200 acres of land has been transferred for these projects. People are migrating to valley and plain areas from the mountainous regions due to which there is a continuous pressure on the land. The problem of potable water and food grains has increased in these years.
Mr. B.C. Sharma from Gandhi Institute for Rural Development said that new law on land is being planned by the Manipur Government which aims at the re-distribution of land keeping equal-distribution of land in view. But he felt that it required allocating a certain percentage of land for agriculture. At Present, agricultural production is decreasing day by day with respect to demand. He felt that the way to bring a realistic law will be clear by the efforts of Jansatyagraha. Mr. Nishikant from National Youth Planning shared that the present Manipur Government has no land policy. Nearly 40% of people live in all the four valleys of Manipur and most of them have no land. Without providing land to these people, the foundation of agriculture can’t be firm. He shared that no right had been given even to the fishermen who depend on rivers. In fact, the plan for Manipur state must be framed keeping all the neglected classes in view. The president of Sarvodaya Mitra Mandal and secretary of Senior Citizen Committee, Mr. Sadandand Singh shared that Jansatyagraha Samvad Yatra will be surely successful in bringing the people together from all over the country. At present the greatest problem is the situation of law and order which make the women and the children its easiest prey. At present the rate of unorganized crime is increasing continuously while the judiciary system has been proved completely inactive. On the one hand, out of 27 lakhs population nearly 7 lakh are registered as unemployed, and on the another 90% area of 23000 sq. Km area total area is highland where no development has been done. In mountain regions, the traditional heads have all right reserved for land. The common people can’t buy any piece of land in these areas. These situations are creating a new sort of problem, gradually and the density of population is continuously increasing in the plains. He said that Arm force special power ordinance was brought in Manipur before Independence. Under it, the armed forces were given privilege. After independence, A new act was made in 1958 which was known as Arm force special power Act. Thousands of people have been tortured by this act till now. This act can’t be challenged in the court. It is a must to take special permission from home ministry to do so. 11 years ago, opposing this act Mrs. Erom Sharmila had declared Satyagraha who has been protesting for the last 11 years. It is also believed by the social organization of Manipur that this act is an open violation of fundamental constitutional rights meant for living. Therefore, their movement will be continue until this act is completely cancelled. At present, Mr. Sharmila Eron has been a symbol of an organized and peaceful satyagraha against the violence in the state. He expressed expectation that the voice of Manipur residents will surely reach the Govt. of India, by means of Jansatyagraha. Senior most Freedom fighter Padmshree Jaljeet Singh shared that the drying-up of river in Manipur together with all over the world is the most serious problem for the human society. The water level in the rivers like thamble, Imphal, Nambul, Barak and Erong in Manipur is going down continuously that has appeared as a serious problem with a view to cultivation and the potable water. Padmashree Mr. Jaljeet Singh announced to join Jansatyagraha on behalf of all the organizations, of Manipur.
The second stoppage of the journey was the meeting held by Manipur University. Addressing the meeting, sernior most prof. Mr. L. Lokendra Singh shared that due to separatist behavior of the Government of India, the fundamental problems of north-east states including Manipur are going to be very serious. The administrative system is totally dependent on the government assistance. He said that Tipaimkh dam is being constructed in the frontiers (bordering) areas of Mijoram, Manipur and Assam by which at least 50 thousand people will be directly affected. This area is considered to be an earth quake – affected where the project of electricity production by constructing dam is not safe with a view to environment. This project has not been accepted by the ecological and environmental ministry of India. Moreever, even the policy of rehabilitation and compensation has not been declared by the project till now. Oil-mining area has been marked by the Swiss company in the Tamenglong area. An agreement is proposed between the government of Manipur and the Swiss company, in this region. There is a great serious problem of Rights and arrangement of local people due to border dispute in the frontiers areas of Mijoram, Manipur and Assam. Senior most prof. Vijayalaxmi said that the situation of law and order had been completely disordered due to armed struggles in Manipur and it has directly affected the rights of women and children. The rights for citizen are not safe because of illegal interference in the common People’s life. The North-East states along with Manipur are being seen with a view to disintegration due to which the common people are hurt. He said that they, the citizen of North-East states, are proud of being India. Therefore, our emotions should be respected. The final stoppage of the journey was Imphal, where a meeting was convened jointly by the organizations called Ekta parisad, K.G.I.D., R.R.D.E.O., R.K.S. B.C.D. warth. C.B., Shanti trust, Puls media, G.I.R.D., W.O.S.W., A.S.M.M. and Tapta Band etc. The vice- President of Bhartiya Janta Party mahila (Morcha) Front Mrs. Sharada Shared that the Manipur land- amelioration act to preserve the rights of non-residential shelters people of valley, was needed to bring in effect immediately.
The co-coordinator of the program Mr. Rishi sharma shared that Five-star hotel in North A.O C in the Imphal City, an agreement had been made and land has been allotted for it. Where as no land has been made available to the town non-residential people. Therefore, it is the demand of public organization that this project should be re-considered. All the organizations mentioned here provided their moral support to Jansatyagraha. On the 29th March , the satyagrah samvad yatra reached Jhiribam from Imphal passing through its most difficult way for six months.