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Violent tactics in governance would never solve any serious social problem: Irom Sharmila on Manipur attacks

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New Delhi: Manipur human rights activist Irom Sharmila on Saturday alleged that bureaucrats in the northeastern states were “misutilising” the money sent by the central government for counter-insurgency operations.

Sharmila, 43, said this  after a hearing at Patiala House courts. She is under judicial custody after being re-arrested on January 24, a day after she was released by the Imphal East district court.

The anti-AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) activist has been on hunger strike for 15 years demanding its repeal. The act gives sweeping powers to the armed forces fighting militants.

“In Manipur and the other northeastern states, every bureaucrat and power holder is getting benefits from the money, in crores, sent by the centre in the name of counter-insurgency. They are misutilising it and using it for profit earning,” Sharmila said in an interview.

Citing the recent attack on the Indian Army in Manipur on June 4 that left 18 soldiers dead, Sharmila said that “violent tactics in governance” would never solve any serious social problem.

It was one of the worst attacks on the army in years.

“Militant attacks of the lunatic kind can never be appreciated. However, such attacks can be stopped only if AFSPA is repealed,” she said.

“If they remove all these overcrowded/excessive army (personnel) from Manipur, there will be no target of the attacks. Attacking any plan based on counter-insurgency is the inevitable tactics of armed revolutionaries. I think you know, violent tactics as a means for any cause will never solve the problem for it’s tit for tat,” she said.

Sharmila said that if AFSPA was removed from the northeastern states, hefty sanctions of money from New Delhi would automatically stop and “such bureaucratic malpractices would cease”.

Sharmila was in Delhi to attend court proceeding on her alleged attempt to suicide case registered during her fast-unto-death here in 2006.

Emphasising that AFSPA was the only reason the entire northeastern region was on the boil, Sharmila said: “Only if the central government removes all the armies from Manipur and the other states affected by the AFSPA will the region see peace.”

Appreciating the efforts made by Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar to get AFSPA repealed from his state, Sharmila said: “The CM of Tripura is very bold and devoted for the welfare of his subjects without selfish motive. I think this is a sign of a superb quality of leadership.”

AFSPA was repealed from Tripura on May 27 after being in force for 18 years.

Sharmila has been fasting since November 5, 2000, a couple of days after an Assam Rifles personnel gunned down 10 civilians, including a National Child Bravery Award winner, near a bus stand in Malom village on the Imphal-Aizawl highway. (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.