Imphal (SPN) | Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam, has dismissed allegations made by the Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA) that the state government is persecuting tribal people as “baseless and very unfortunate”.
He stated that the allegations have the potential to flare up communal tension while the government is working to promote oneness and bring all communities together to bring about unity and integrity.
The Minister added that the KPA could have held a discussion with the government instead of making a sensitive statement through the media and shouldn’t have given it a communal tinge.
The KPA had accused the state government of persecuting tribal people by evicting a church in Tribal Colony in Checkon. However, Govindas said that including the Tribal Colony, the valley and the hills are all land of the State.
People residing in the land with the approval and documents/deeds from the State/Government. At any given time, the government may demarcate land and evict, and development bringing changes is a global phenomenon.
He added that 80 percent of people at Langol Housing Complex are tribal people. The National Games Village also has tribal people comprising 72 percent of the population. Also, 75 percent of the people in Lamphel Quarters are tribal people.
Moreover, there are plans to convert the quarters at Langol Housing Complex, National Games Village, Lamphel, Sanjenthong, and Babupara into multistorey buildings with modern facilities including a gym and community halls.
Hence, there is no question of the government persecuting tribal people. The government has never acted against any community, Govindas said.
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Govindas stressed that the eviction at Tribal Colony was to build a multi-story housing complex. He said that the place is not meant for storing firewood or charcoal and that the eviction was done after relocating the people of the colony to another place.
The Tribal Colony had Type-I and Type-II quarters that were in deplorable conditions, and the objective is to build a modern multi-storeyed building in its place.
On the eviction of the Church at Tribal Colony, Govindas said that according to a 2009 ruling of the Supreme Court, no structure of religious nature can be built on State land without authorization.
In line with the order of the top Court, the State Government had formulated a policy, and a notification was issued thereafter. Further, state and district committees have been formed. Also, in line with the apex Court, the Churches in the Tribal Colony were evicted after getting a direction from the Court here and after serving notice.
15 days were also given to the Church to remove all belongings and properties. He asked if this was a case of persecuting tribal people.
Govindas also highlighted that after Manipur became a full-fledged state in 1972, there have been many CMs from the minority community like Md Alimuddin (2 years), Yangmasho Shaiza (2 years), and Rishang Keishing (8 years).
At that time, 38 percent of the State Budget was allocated to hill districts. Now, this has been increased as 48.50 percent of the total Budget is allocated for hill districts.