Several incidents of officials violating the Indian Forest Act, 1927, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and orders issued by the Supreme Court on Reserved and Protected Forests of Manipur during previous governments have come to light.
Some of the violations include recognition and allowing the establishment of villages in Wildlife Sanctuaries, and Reserved/Protected Forest Areas as well as allocation of land and manipulation of land records, indicating their contributions to the prevailing unrest which has crossed four months in Manipur.
As per sources, ASO Y Saratchandra Singh issued a proclamation (ASO/F/CHKHPF/71) on October 27, 1971, inviting claims and objections for the Churachandpur-Khoupum PF declaration by December 11, 1971. FSO FR Khan along with ASO Y Saratchandra Singh and A Nodiachand Singh collectively addressed 38 objections, excluding claimed lands.
The State Government (no. 8/276/2022-Forest, dated November 3, 2022) canceled these orders, citing IFA violation, while clarifying that the ASOs lacked exclusion authority from the PF.
Retired PCCF and SDO, Saikul S Singsit recognised Govajang village which is located in Yangoupokpi Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary, while appointing one Thangkhopao Kipgen as its chief through a certificate dated February 19, 2011.
Subsequently, the PCCF, Manipur, nullified the aforementioned certificate via an Order dated July 9, 2012, as per sources.
Singsit also issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) on October 18, 2010 for the demarcation of 20 square miles within Nongmaiching Reserved Forest in favour of one T Lhungdim.
Additionally, SDO Saikul issued a transfer of ownership order on December 9, 1996. However, the Secretariat of the Forests and Environment department canceled these orders through an official directive dated May 31, 2019.
Retired additional chief secretary (Forest and Environment), Saichhuana as per Order No 55/18/2004, Forest and Environment, dated April 20 2006, authorised the establishment of Tharon village within Langol Reserved Forest through an order issued on May 31, 1994. This authorisation was later canceled by the Secretariat of the Forests and Environment department via an official directive dated June 1 2020.
As per Order No. 55/18/2004- Forest and Environment dated April 20, 2006, Saichhuana also allowed the establishment of Tarung village within Langol Reserved Forest through an order issued on May 31, 1994. The Secretariat of the Forests and Environment department annulled this authorisation via an official directive dated June 1, 2020.
It has been found that retired PCCF S Singsit allocated 5 acres of land within Dampi Reserved Forest (Churachandpur District) to Bethsaide Prayer Team. This allocation was revoked later by the PCCF through an order dated August 24, 2020.
Deputy commissioner of Senapati district TL Kuki as per Order No. D.C.(SPT)/16/8/88 dated February 8 1988, allowed settlement and recognition of C Phailen Village under the chiefship of one Jamkhothang Touthang, within Langol Reserved Forest.
This authorisation was later nullified by the Secretary (Revenue), Government of Manipur via order No. 7/43/33-R dated December 11, 2000.
SDC Heingang, Imphal East Kh Goverdhon Singh in accordance with Rev. Misc Case No. 365 of 2010 dated December 3, 2010, issued a Mutation order and patta for 5.53 Acres in Langol Reserved Forest, manipulating the actual figure of 0.53 Acre.
However, the DC of Imphal East, through an Order dated March 31 2023, canceled the patta and relevant documents.
Deputy commissioner of Senapati district T Pamei as per Order No DC (SPT) 16/8/83/Vol-III (Pt) dated May 3, 2003, recognised Ramgailong village within Langol Reserved Forest, appointing one Mathuiuri Dangmei as the village chief.
The Secretariat of Land Resources revoked this acknowledgment through an order dated April 12, 2023.
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T Pamei, Manipur vide Order No. DC(SPT)16/8/83/Vol-V/03 dated May 8 2003, also recognised Lanthunching village inside Langol Reserved Forest with one H Aleng as headman. The Secretariat of Land Resources canceled the order, vide order dated April 12, 2023.
Retd ASO (Forest) FR Khan in accordance with his order dated September 10, 1985, de-reserved 7.00 Hectares from Langol Reserved Forest, originally notified by the Manipur State Darbar on November 2, 1938. This illegal order was canceled by the State Government, through an Order dated September 17, 2020.
Principal secretary (Tribal Affairs and Hills), Government of Manipur SK Dev Verman through Order No. 9/26/2014-Hills (Pt-1) dated April 30, 2015 of the Secretariat: TA and Hills Department), issued an order declaring change of already canceled C Phailen Village (claiming to be Part C) inside Langol Reserved Forest as Lanthungching Village illegally.
However, the Special Secretary (Tribal Affairs & Hills) at the Secretariat, in accordance with Order No. TA/21/2023-e-TA & H dated March 27, 2023 canceled the said order.
Retired ASO (Forest) L Saratchandra Singh, retired PCCF S Singsit, retired Commissioner (Hills) LP Gonmei collectively recognised Simol village in Khamenlok-Gwaltabi RF (Kangpokpi district) under the Central Forest Division in 2004 and Onthang Haokip as its chief in 2005.
These unauthorised orders have recently come to light and the process is underway for cancellation of these orders.
SDC Kangchup S Dhaneshwar Singh, SDO Saitu Gamphazol S Rajendra Singh and CEO Sadar Hills ADC Chongpu Kipgen collectively recognised Leisenbung village in Langol RF, while designating one Paokhojang Kipgen as its chief in 2009.
The Forest department has written and requested the Revenue department to cancel the order. It is learnt that the Revenue department has initiated the necessary process.