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Manipur student bodies slam CM for “anti-tribal policy”

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Ibobi Singh source: thehindu.com
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american-constitutionBy NewsGram Staff Writer

Guwahati: Pertaining to the prevailing situation in Manipur due to three controversial bills being passed in the Manipur state assembly, a number of tribal student bodies of Assam’s Karbi Anglong district have sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention.

After violence erupted last week following the Manipur government’s adoption of three landmark bills – Protection of Manipur People Bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Bill 2015, and Manipur Shops and Establishment Bill 2015, at least nine people were killed and 20 seriously injured.

This outraged the student bodies who subsequently, appealed to the prime minister.

In a joint memorandum, the Karbi Students’ Association, the Rengma Naga Students’ Union, the Hmar Students’ Union, the Kuki Students’ Union, the Students’ and Youth Council, and the Khasi Students’ Union have together appealed to the prime minister to look into the problems faced by their fellow tribal indigenous people in Manipur.

On August 31, the three bills were unanimously passed in the assembly when the ruling Congress, in order to enact three laws to protect the interests of the people, signed an agreement with the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) on August 25.

Demanding an inner line permit system in the state similar to the ones in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland, the JCILPS had been spearheading a month-long agitation. However, the state’s hill tribes have claimed that the three bills would directly undermine the existing safeguards for the tribal hill areas regarding land-ownership and population influx as the primary threat for the tribal people came not from outside the state but from the Meitei people of the valley itself.

In the memorandum addressed to Modi and submitted to the Karbi Anglong deputy commissioner on Tuesday, the students’ bodies blamed Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh for the loss of the nine lives and condemned his “anti-tribal policy”.

“As such, he (Singh) has no moral right to continue as the chief minister and he should step down to restore peace and harmony in Manipur state,” it stated.

The memorandum urged the central government “to immediately intervene on the bills in question and request the government of Manipur to repeal or revoke the said amended bills which affect tribal rights”.

“We also want you to address the issues raised by the tribal people of the state in particular and the north-eastern states in general which is to protect the lives and properties of the tribal indigenous people from such type of government set-ups,” it said, adding that the tribal people could govern themselves and determine their future freely.

 

(With inputs from IANS)

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Loktak Lake: World’s Only Floating National Park

Loktak Lake is a beautiful stretch of water that resembles a miniature inland sea

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Currently, Loktak faces problems due to the construction of a barrage at the only outlet of the lake. Wikimedia Commons
Currently, Loktak faces problems due to the construction of a barrage at the only outlet of the lake. Wikimedia Commons
  • Loktak Lake is famous for the Phumdis floating over it
  • These Phumdis are inhibited by around 4000 people
  • Loktak faces problems due to loss of vegetation cover

Located near Moirang in Manipur, Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the Northeastern pars of India. The lake is famous for it’s ‘Phumdis’; located on the largest Phundi, the Keibul Lamjao National Park, is the last refuse of Sangai (an endangered animal, also the state animal of Manipur). Currently, Loktak faces problems due to the construction of a barrage at the only outlet of the lake.

ALSO READ: ONGC and Unesco Join Hands to get India’s Largest Coastal Lagoon ‘Chilika Lake’ the World Heritage Site, Tag

Loktak Lake Phumdis

loktak lake phumdis, Local people construct their huts on Phumdis for fishing and other livelihood uses. Wikimedia Commons
Local people construct their huts on Phumdis for fishing and other livelihood uses. Wikimedia Commons

Phumdis are a series of floating islands that cover a substantial part of Loktak lake area. They are heterogeneous masses of vegetation, soil and organic matter, in different stages of decay. The largest single-mass Phumdi covers an area of 40 km2. Local people construct their huts on Phumdis for fishing and other livelihood uses. Loktak Lake Phumdis are inhabited by about 4000 people.

Loktak Lake Tourism And Conservation

The Loktak Lake is designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on March 23, 1990. It was also listed under the Montreux Record on June 16, 1993, “a record of Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur”.

loktak lake tourism, 55 rural and urban hamlets that surround the lake have a population of 100,000 people. Wikimedia Commons
55 rural and urban hamlets that surround the lake have a population of 100,000 people. Wikimedia Commons

Loktak Lake is a beautiful stretch of water that resembles a miniature inland sea. You can catch an aerial-type view of the lake from Sendra. The Sendra Tourist Home with an attached Cafeteria is a sought after tourist spot. Boating and other water sports are organized here at Takmu Water Sports Complex.

ALSO READ: Taj Lake Palace: Floating Palace in Udaipur is the Ultimate Destination for a Romantic Break

Loktak Lake Map

Loktak Lake map, Loktak Lake and location of a multi-purpose Hydropower Project. Wikimedia Commons
Loktak Lake and location of a multi-purpose Hydropower Project. Wikimedia Commons

Loktak gains its waters from Manipur river and several other tributaries. It’s the only outlet is ‘Ungamel Channel’. The five major rivers with an indirect catchment area of 7,157 km2 (2,763 sq mi) are the Imphal (also called the Manipur River), the Iril, the Thoubal, the Sekmai and the Khuga.

Though hydrological data on river basin has not been adequately monitored, the Department of Earth Science, Manipur University has in its report of 1996 assessed the average runoff of Manipur River as 519,200 ha·m (4,209,000 acre·ft; 5.192 km3) from a total catchment area of 697 km2 (269 sq mi) at the Ithai barrage. The groundwater potential has been assessed estimated at 44 hm3 (36,000 acre⋅ft) per annum.