Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) Chairperson Justice UB Saha on Monday held a meeting with the villagers of New Side Chadong village in Kamjong district during his maiden visit to the village.
The meeting cum interaction was held at the community hall of New Side Chadong village, where the Chairperson interacted with headmen and villagers in the presence of members of MHRC and Deputy Commissioner of Kamjong District along with other officials and police officers of the district.
Speaking at the interaction Justice Saha said, the commission is not only working in the office, but also visiting villages to directly assess the human rights situation in Manipur.
The MHRC chairperson was accompanied by member KK Singh, IGP Wahengbam Mamata and Law Officer W Basantakumar.
Since 2015, the original settlement was submerged in water when Mapithel Dam of the Thoubal Multipurpose Project was commissioned. Most of the arable land in the village was also submerged and some of the residents established New Chadong village to a higher ground.
Several MoUs were signed between the state government and affected villagers regarding their resettlement and compensation, but they were never fulfilled, said a villager who participated in the interaction programme.
Earlier Chadong Village Development Committee chairman had complained to the MHRC for starting a Primary School and a Primary Health Centre and also for making arrangements of drinking water at the new Chadong Rehabilitation site since 2013, as they were displaced from their original village at Chadong.
He also informed that construction of the building for the Primary School and Primary Health Centre was completed in the year 2020, but the Water Resources Department has not handed over the proposed building.
MHRC while disposing the complaint case recommended to the Chief Engineer, Water Resources Department, Manipur to hand over the newly constructed Primary School at new Chadong village. The Commissioner (Health) and Commissioner (Education), Government of Manipur were also directed to establish Primary Health Sub-Centre (PHSC) within a period of two months from the date of handing over of the newly constructed building.
During the visit, MHRC received oral complaints regarding non-availability of drinking water and issues of not providing benefits under MNREGA to the villagers.
Also, New Chadong village is yet to be recognised by the government. MHRC chairperson advised the villagers to take up the matter with DC.
A 82-year-old woman KS Salareng complained that old age pension had not been credited to her account since long back. MHRC chairperson advised the DC, Kamjoing to examine and take necessary action to avail pension benefit to her.
Addressing the gathering, Chairperson Justice UB Saha stated that the Commission is putting its best effort to bring peace and normalcy in the state. MHRC does not belong to any particular community or individual and its sole objective is to provide and safeguard the basic human rights of every individual of the state.
On the way back, the MHRC team visited a relief camp opened at Community Health Centre, Nongada where displaced persons from Gwaltabi and Sanasabi villages are presently lodged.
It may be mentioned that these displaced persons have been taking refuge since 16 August due to fear of being attacked by other community.
Surma, SDO, Lamlai who was present in the relief camp informed that 164 persons who are mainly from Gwaltabi are being housed in the camp. She also informed that 37 houses of Gwaltabi village were reportedly burnt during the communal violence.
One Gotimayum Shanti (50) of Gwaltabi village, Imphal East complained about lack of medicine in the camp. She said doctors who visited at the relief camp prescribed medicines, but that she is not in the position to buy those medicines as there is no money in hand.
MHRC chairperson advised the SDO, Lamlai to take up the matter with DC, Imphal East so that the displaced persons would not face any hurdle while staying in the camp.