Manipur: Chingdai villagers protest against ‘imposition’ of Indian Forest Act
Seilal Haokip, president of Chingdai Area Kuki Youth Organisation, said that Chingdai Area comprises six villages and the settlement of these villages are before India’s Independence
Updated 1 Jun 2022, 2:56 pm
People of Chingdai area in Kangpokpi district staged a sit-in-protest on Tuesday against the ‘unlawful’ imposition of the Forest Act in Chingdai area of Kangpokpi district.
Hundreds of people, including women and youths of the area, participated in the sit-in-protest organised by Chingdai Area Kuki Youth Organization and the area chiefs.
The protesters held placards that read, “We opposed Indian Forest Act, 1927 and its amendment Act”, “Colonial Rule and Acts should not infringe the legal rights of tribal chiefs”, “State Govt should implement Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers(Forest Rights) Act, 2006 enacted by the Parliament of India”, “Withdraw Indian Forest Act, 1927 and it’s Amendment Act from Tribal Villages”, etc.
Seilal Haokip, President of Chingdai Area Kuki Youth Organisation, said that Chingdai Area comprises six villages and the settlement of these villages are before India’s Independence while adding that the village chiefs have no knowledge of Khamenlok-Gwaltabi reserved forest, and no notification from Forest department and settlement department have received during the Government propose Khamenlok-Gwaltabi in the year 1946 in compliance with the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
He continued that it is clear evidence of the Government’s attempt to occupy or grab tribal land and suppress tribal rights.
The proposed Khamenlok-Gwaltabi Reserved Forest includes 10 valley villages and 6 villages in hills. Unfortunately, these villages received no prior information, it added.
Condemning the Act he said, any development regarding reserved forest within the Chingdai Area without consultation of the village Chief and without the consent of the people is null and void.
He also appealed to the State Government to implement the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Forest Rights) Act, 2006 enacted by the Parliament of India immediately.
“We want peace and development not by trading with our tribal rights and we strongly oppose the imposition of Indian Forest act 1927 and Manipur Forest act 1971 and others amendment act in Khamenlok-Gwaltabi range, particularly in Chingdai Area without prior notification and consent of peoples and request the officials and employees of concern department to refrain from such unlawful activities to maintain peace, harmony, and development in the state," he added.