Tense situation grips Sora, indefinite bandh on

Thoubal, April 08 2022: A tense situation has gripped Sora and surrounding areas as Government officials accompanied by a large number of security forces tried to resume demarcation of Yatihibi Loukol areas acquired earlier for construction of National Sports University this morning.

After the site of National Sports University has been shifted to Haraothel, the State Government has been planning to set up a mega food park at Yaithibi Loukol.

A team of Government officials tried to demarcate the acquired area yesterday too but the local people opposed the demarcation exercise vehemently which resulted in a violent confrontation between police and protesters.

Some protesters and police personnel were injured in the confrontation.

The demarcation exercise was suspended after the Government officials and local leaders led by elected representatives agreed to resume the same exercise only after an understanding is reached between the Government and the local people.

However, some Government officials who were accompanied by a large number of security forces attempted to resume the demarcation exercise this morning but they met stiff opposition from the local people.

Local people have been contending that the demarcation exercise attempts to acquire homesteads as well as the local Mosque which were not included in the area acquired earlier in the name of construction of National Sports University.

Nonetheless, amidst heavy security deployment, Government started digging drains using excavators so as to create a boundary between the surrounding villages of Yaithibi Loukol namely; Sora, Koijam and Langthabal.

Expressing strong objection to this initiative of the Government, a large number of people belonging to Sora tried to stop the work of digging drain but police repulsed them by firing several rounds of tear gas shells.

Enraged by the renewed demarcation attempt, a mob set ablaze a police booth opened at Sora Chinglak and a motorcycle (Bajaj Pulsar) which reportedly belonged to police.

As the situation became more volatile, police opened several rounds of fire in the air in their attempt to control the situation.

Later at around 3.30 pm, a large number of protesters succeeded in driving away the police force towards Khongjom by pelting stones and firing sling shots.

Many police vehicles were damaged in the process and some police personnel too sustained injuries.

Meanwhile, local people of Sora decided to impose an indefinite bandh on Imphal-Moreh highway until the issue of Yaithibi Loukol is resolved amicably.

On account of the bandh, people travelling on the highway encountered many difficulties.

People coming from Moreh took the road to Kakching while those coming from Thoubal were diverted to Papal.

Kakching Zilla Parishad Up-Adhyaksha Md Najimuddin who is also a resident of Sora said that local leaders have been trying to hold a meeting with Government officials concerned on the matter.

Speaking to media persons at Sora today, Md Najimuddin said that people could not just sit back and watch when Government officials came unannounced and started the land demarcation exercise at Yaithibi Loukol yesterday without giving any prior information.

The land demarcation work was suspended only after Kakching AC MLA M Rameshwar, local Zilla Parishad and Pradhan persuaded the Government officials to put the same exercise on hold until the local leaders have a meeting with the Government.

Najimuddin went on to claim that the area which the Government officials tried to fence off are inhabited and the inhabitants are in possession of pattas.

Moreover, the Government authority does not have proper knowledge whether these plots had been sold off or not, he alleged.

Najimuddin also appealed to the Chief Minister to bring an amicable solution through dialogue.

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