Victims Spent Sleepless night Imagining the dark FutureRinku Khumukcham
Evicted families of Lamphel area spent sleepless night protecting their young ones as unfriendly rains and summer heats falls upon them after the state government “no mercy drive” for development had left them homeless. It was disheartening to see the helpless parents watching their young ones collecting books and other materials from the mess up with tears rolling down on their cheek. The eviction drive was conducted within a short span of merely a month without making proper arrangement of the settlers along the site for some of them even over decades. The eviction drive began on June 6 afternoon all of a sudden putting everyone in surprise.
Source said the loyal employees of the Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had began the ‘No Mercy Drive’ after he directed to do so during his recent visit at the site for construction of NIT. Around 20 houses and many shops in Yaipha Leikai Mamang in Lamphel area near the Employment Exchange office were evicted using three bulldozers and four tippers. According to official source, SDO Radhamani Mutum had issued the eviction orders on June 3. On June 5, Lamphel police had reportedly warned the residents to shift from the houses, shops and hotels at the earliest. The official source was however different from those of the statement of the settlers which had been evicted. They said they were not given adequate time for shifting of their house. As bulldozers accompanied by a large number of police force came all of a sudden on Monday morning and started destroying their houses one after another people of the area helplessly streams tears witnessing the scene. Some of them busied trying to collect their belonging while other screams with pains helplessly.
State government Works Minister, PDA Chairman and other officials were also present when the “no mercy government action” was underway. Some villagers said that they had been residing in the area since the last 50 years and that they owned dag chitha – that is, land owner certificate of the areas where they were residing. They also said to their surprise, Lamphel police came on June 5 at around 11 am and pasted an eviction order dated June 3 on a pillar near the Lamphel Employment Exchange Office and began the eviction work Monday morning. They termed the act as biased since the police did not carry out evictions in the adjoining areas. Meanwhile, students of the evicted families stand stunned after seeing their houses destroyed while returning back from school. Some of the children cried with utmost pain and sorrow while the younger ones were received by their parents. The parents had left no choice but to feed their children in the open space where their houses were evicted.
Government “no Mercy eviction drive” perhaps may have been a far sighted dream for the Okram Ibobi led SPF government to develop the state. But it is no right to drive out the helpless and poor without giving them alternative means for survival said a senior citizen. He also said that people knows why these development project have been taking up at one time in a hasty manner without making a way out for public conveniences. He further said the government might be able to fool some people for sometime but not all the time. It may be mention that the eviction drive was conducted in the presence of Imphal West DC, Lamphel SDO, Works Minister K Ranjit, PDA Chairman Kh Loken, I/W Addl SP Herojit, SDPO Lamphel Balram and OC Ingocha. Out of the 20 houses evicted yesterday around 10 of them possesed dag chitha for their land.