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Continued ban on railway works at Marangjing village

By: Majabung Gangmei
NONEY: As part of the ongoing ban on Railway works in Marangjing Village, a vehicle belonging to the Coastal Company was completely burnt down for defying the ban on railway works by the villagers on 23rd December around 8 PM. The arsoning of vehicle happened in Marangching village jurisdiction in Noney District near Kharam Village near the Ejei River. Villagers who imposed ban on railway works since 20th December on unresolved controversy on railway impacts and rehabilitation processes, are suspected to be involved in the arsoning of the vehicle. Another vehicle was also destroyed on 24th December near Marangjing Part III village.

The ban on railway works is was imposed by the villagers of Marangching village protesting the arbitrary compensation and rehabilitation works of the Railway authorities. The villagers earlier submitted a  petition to the Chief Minister on 10thDecember 2017 urging the Government of Manipur to constitute a committee comprising senior officer not below the rank of Chief Secretary / Addl. Chief Secretary to recover the compensation amount illegally siphoned by Mr. Thaunkulung Gangmei and Kh. Lovejoy, who had claimed individual ownership over the major portion of lands, which are actually village land of Makhuam / Marangching, acquired for construction of NF Railway Broad Gauge (BG) and the illegal withdrawal of the compensation amount due to illegal acts of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Armstrong Pamei based on nullified copy of the Court orders and fabricated documents. 

And as such, the villagers of Makhaum village have decided to completely ban the railway works and the Makhuam villagers would like to appeal the Railway authorities to stop the railway works till the matter is amicably resolved in accordance with the demands of villagers. The Railway authorities and the companies concerned should assume all responsibility for all untoward incidents arising due to non-compliance of our request.

The Government of Manipur should take responsibility to recover the compensation amount made to two individuals namely Thuankulung Gangmei and Kh. Lovejoy by setting up a committee consisting of a senior officer not below the rank of Chief Secretary / Addl. Chief Secretary. 

The Government should take necessary legal action against Mr. Armstrong Pamei, District Collector, Tamenglong District and his subordinate officials involved for causing the siphoning and the loss of public exchequer more than 36 Crores. Further, the Government of Manipur should take action against the authority of United Bank of India for allowing the withdrawal of amounts despite the persisting controversy and timely notifications on illegal and fraudulent attempts by Thuankulung Gangmei and Kh. Lovejoy for the withdrawal.   

Background of the ban on railway works:

On 21stMarch 2017, an award order was issued by the DC Tamenglong stating that the ownership of the land is under dispute and any compensation payment be made based on the court decision. On 9 June 2017, the Hon’ble Court of Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, Resettlement Authority, Tamenglong District fix 30thJune 2017 as the date of hearing to appear the DC of Tamenglong based on the summon letter dated 13th June 2017. On 15th and 16thJune 2017, the DC modified the compensatory award two times in favor of two individuals Mr. Thaunkulung Gangmei and Kh. Lovejoy. The Civil Court of Tamenglong dismissed the case on 16th June 2017 on non-application of jurisdiction. On the same day, The DC, Tamenglong District made cheque payment to the two individuals. On 23rd June 2017, the villagers of Makhuam rejecting the DC’s compensatory award to the two individuals submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister of Manipur to halt the payment.

On 5 July, the villagers met with the DC, Tamenglong and resolved to freeze the account of the two individuals. On 28th August 2017, the DC informed the villagers through SDO and SDC of Tamenglong District that compensation money had already been withdrawn by Mr. Thaunkulung Gangmei. 

The petition by Makhuam (Marangjing) Villagers expressed concern with the arbitrary payment of compensation for land affected by railway works by the Deputy Commission of Tamenglong District, Manipur on 16 July 2017 to two individuals of Makhuam and Pungmon villages, despite objections of villagers of Makhuam village and also without considering the pending court matter. The villagers of Makhuam have submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Tamenglong District, Manipur in this regard on 22 July 2017 to ensure that the arbitrarily sanctioned amount to the two persons be re-transferred to an appropriate Government account before the 31 July 2017 and for the related bank statement be furnished to villagers of Makhuam village accordingly.

The villagers of Makhuam had made the representation to the Chief Minister with a remark that in the event of failing to get a positive response for immediate intervention from the Government of Manipur within Ten (10) days i.e 19thDecember, the villagers will be constraint to launch intensive agitation including total ban of all construction works of Northern Frontier Railways within the jurisdiction of Makhuam village.  

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