COCOMI Farmers Wing on Tuesday cautioned the Manipur government that the wing along with the people would commence intense agitations from February 10 if the government failed to disburse the compensation amount of Rs 38.6 crore for displaced farmers within the stipulated time.
Speaking to the media at COCOMI office, Imphal, co-convenor of the farmers wing Laishram Kiran stated that the chief minister and the agriculture minister had assured to disburse the amount which was allotted by the Central government for displaced farmers and farmers who are unable to enter their farmlands because of the crisis.
“We felt grateful for the aid but the slow pace of the authorities in clearing off the compensation shows disregard for the farmers in Manipur,” he said.
He highlighted that the agriculture sector in Manipur was one of the primary areas which took a massive hit due to the conflict and maintained that the government’s initiative to aid displaced farmers and farmers unable to yield anything because of the crisis came as a saving grace.
“A major portion of paddy fields in the state have been left untouched because of the crisis. We were hopeful that the funds would be disbursed during the reaping season but it is nearing the end of winter and we are yet to see anything,” he said.
He further pointed out that the authorities concerned had collected all necessary documents from the farmers for the disbursement but nothing ever materialised.
He lamented the state government’s disregard for farmers in the state and added that the agriculture sector in Manipur was one of the least tended sectors by the government.
“No schemes and policies enacted for farmers in Manipur had ever yielded fruitful results which is a cause for major concern. Our demands and voices have never been heard and our concerns have always been sidelined by the authorities,” he said.
He warned that the farming community would not remain mute spectators anymore and commence intense agitations if the authorities failed to disburse the compensation amount by 10 February.
Meanwhile, COCOMI convenor Th Somendro asserted that the crisis in Manipur would only be resolved when both the Central and state governments addressed certain primary issues which needed swift attention.
He noted that proper resolution of the issue of identity crisis of Manipuris as Indians, the issue of SoO with Kuki militants, NRC implementation, the presence of central forces in Manipur and the separation of indigenes and non-indigenes by adhering to 1951 as base year would be the only way to usher peace and normalcy in Manipur.