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Manipur CM has directed eviction of illegal settlers: KSU

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SHILLONG, May 6: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has directed the eviction of the illegal settlers in Khedagar and other adjoining villages who had allegedly snatched away more than 100 hectares of land from the Khasi populace residing there.
This was informed by KSU general secretary Donald V Thabah after a delegation of the KSU called on the Manipur chief minister at his chamber on Friday evening.
“We are very happy since the CM had immediately called the deputy commissioners of both Tamelong and Jiribam to immediately evict the people who forcefully snatched away the land of the Khasi populace,” Thabah said.
According to him, the Manipur CM also assured the delegation that his government will invoke the provisions of the Inner-Line Permit (ILP) to deport the illegal settlers.
Meanwhile, in a petition to Singh, the KSU also highlighted issues relating to the conditions of the Khasi people living in Manipur.
Thabah also informed Singh that Khasis number around 14 lakh globally and are found predominantly in Meghalaya as well as in Assam, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur and Bangladesh.
Thabah said that the Khasis in Manipur had been residing since 1939-1940 at Khedagar village. Later on, two more Khasi villages, viz. Kamrangha and Abampunji villages were established, he added.
“At present, the Khasi population in Manipur stands at more than 1,000 persons with more than 30 households. Most of the Manipuri Khasis are engaged in agriculture, especially in pan-leaf cultivation as their means of livelihood,” the KSU general secretary said.
He also informed that the Khasi population in Manipur was living peacefully until recently when nearby residents from Jiribam started encroaching their lands in Khedagar village.
Thabah added that under the threat of losing their lands due to influx, the representatives of Khedagar village had shot off a litany of petitions to the concerned authorities, seeking their intervention. However, the petitions fell on deaf ears of the authorities.
“Cases of intimidation against the Khasis and forceful construction of illegal structures in the said area are also reported which placed the Khasi villagers in a hapless situation. An FIR had also been lodged by a local Khasi against encroachers to the Police Officer in-charge stationed in Tousem on the April 12, 2022,” he said.
Thabah lamented that influx and illegal encroachment pose serious threat to the Khasi community and their ancestral lands.
He also exhorted the Manipur CM to also ensure that the Khasi community there are protected from any threat or intimidation.

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