Forest office set on fire, night curfew imposed in Manipur’s Churachandpur district

The situation in Manipur’s Churachandpur district remained tense on Saturday after miscreants set on fire a forest office on Friday night.

Police said the forest range office in the Tuibong area was torched after midnight. While the fire brigade prevented the office from burning into cinders, properties worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in the fire.

The district administration has imposed night curfew in the district from 5 pm to 5 am until further notice. And prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 will be in place from 5am to 5pm.

The arson attack followed a clash between police and protesters on Friday in the wake of an eight-hour shutdown called by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) against a land survey.

Mon Tombing, secretary of the ITLF, said the forum would continue with its non-cooperation movement against the Biren Singh government. He questioned the government’s motive for conducting the survey. “Even if the survey was to be conducted, it should be with the people’s consent,” he said.

Tombing said the people of Churachandpur were now living in great fear. “We don’t want to meet the fate of K Sonjang village that was evacuated earlier this year. The village itself was established in 1827, much earlier than the gazette notification,”he said, adding that the villagers were yet to be rehabilitated.

The land survey in question was carried out for the Churachandpur-Khoupum Protected Forest. It covers an area of around 490 sq km and is spread across three districts, namely Churachandpur, Bishnupur and Noney.

Deputy conservator of forest Joukumar Longjam, however, said the survey was meant to clear confusion over the jurisdiction between the forest and revenue departments and had nothing to do with eviction.

Longjam said that 14 per cent of forests in the state fell under the reserve category and 18 per cent under the protected category. The government is taking serious initiative protecting forest areas, he said. As per central government norms, at least 66 per cent of the forest area should be under protection, he said.

The forest officer admitted that there might have been a few lapses in the procedure but insisted they were negligible. “If one feels that there are lapses in the procedure being followed by the department, it would be wise to seek legal help instead of resorting to violence,” he said.


  • Adam Gray

    Adam Gray is an experienced journalist with a passion for breaking news and delivering it to the masses. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has covered everything from local stories to national events, earning a reputation for his accuracy, reliability, and attention to detail. As a reporter, Adam is always on the lookout for the next big story, and his dedication to uncovering the truth has earned him the respect of his peers and readers alike. When he's not chasing down leads, Adam can be found poring over the latest headlines, always on the lookout for the next big scoop. Contact [email protected]

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