The following is an Urgent Appeal from indigenous communities, peoples organizations and civil society groups in Manipur, North East India through IPMSDL member Centre for Research and Advocacy-Manipur (CRAM). IPMSDL stands with our member and communities in Manipur affected by the ADB-funded government infrastructure project that will displace indigenous Kuki from their lands and undermine their enshrined rights.
INCIDENT: Eviction on Indigenous Kuki community affected by the Moreh ICP By Pass Road funded by the Asian Development Bank on 3 November 2020
PLACE: Eighteen (18) households from M. Chahnou Village to Integrated Check Post Area, Moreh.
IDENTIFICATION OF AFFECTED COMMUNITIES: Sixty Six villagers belong to Kuki Tribe from villages of M. Chahnou, SL. Gamnon, Ng. Moulom, Lhangnom Veng, Gangte Veng, Haijang Veng, T. Yangom, New Moreh, Ward No 9, Shijang Veng, Moreh Ward No 1 and T. Tonglhang Villages in Tengnoupal District, Manipur
EVENT DESCRIPTION: At least Eighteen Households belonging to the indigenous Kuki people of Manipur were evicted by the Deputy Commissioner of Tengnoupal District, Manipur in North East India on 3 November 2020 at M. Chahnou and SL. Gamnon Villages for the construction of the Moreh – Integrated Check Point (ICP).
The eviction order was based on an order issued by the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Tengnoupal District, Manipur on 11 September 2020, directing all the tribal landowners in villages along the Moreh – ICP Bypass Road to dismantle their houses and structures within 12th September to 25th September 2020 under the National Highway Act, 1956 for the construction of the Moreh – ICP By Pass Road as part of the Imphal Moreh section of the Asian Highway 1 Road financed by the Asian Development Bank.
The notification for eviction by DC, Tengnoupal is despite the failure of project authorities of Moreh ICP By Pass Road, part of the ADB financed Imphal Moreh Road or Asian Highway 1, to take the consent of affected villagers and to compensate and rehabilitate around Sixty- Six (66) villagers, belonging to the Kuki Tribe from the villages of M. Chahnou, SL. Gamnon, NG. Moulom, Lhangnom Veng, Gangte Veng, Haijang Veng, T. Yangom, New Moreh, Ward No 9, Shijang Veng, Moreh Ward No 1 and T. Tonglhang Villages in Tengnoupal District, Manipur for impacts on their homestead land, houses, shops etc. The entire villagers of T. Tonglhang Village has been excluded from compensation.
The affected villagers complained that the proposed road expansion were excluded from rehabilitation and resettlement measures by the Deputy Commissioner, Tengnoupal for reasons unexplained. This is also intended to create division among the affected villagers. The affected villagers are worried that the eviction and the exclusion from the rehabilitation and resettlement unleashed much hardship and inconveniences to the villagers with destruction of their livelihood. Many children, women, widows and old aged will be left homeless during the Covid 19 Pandemic. The forced eviction will only worsen the impoverishment and livelihood challenges of affected villagers.
The forceful eviction without their consultation, consent and adequate compensation and rehabilitation especially during the worsening Covid Pandemic in Manipur will constitute a serious violation of their right to life and to their physical and mental wellbeing over generations. Forced Eviction constitute a violation of Right to Life, under Article 21 of Constitution of India. The pursuance of forced acquisition of land will violate the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995 and also the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and related amendments. The exclusion and non-provision of compensation and adequate rehabilitation to the affected villagers violates the fundamental rights and provisions of the ADB’s safeguard policies of 2009 and the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007.
The Moreh ICP by Pass Road Land & Structure Committee and the Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur would like to request your kind intervention to urge the Government of India and the Government of Manipur to:
– Stop all forms of forced Eviction of the Indigenous Kuki people affected by the Moreh ICP By Pass Road and who are deprived from rehabilitation, compensation and resettlement.
– Ensure provision of necessary rehabilitation and resettlement of all those affected and excluded by the Moreh – ICP by Pass Road
– Ensure the project proponents, viz, the Government of India and financiers to uphold the rights of indigenous peoples affected by the Moreh-ICP By Pass Road as per the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007
PLEASE WRITE TO THE FOLLOWING OFFICIALS:
Mr. Nongthombam Biren,
Chief Minister of Manipur
New Secretariat Building
Bapupara, Imphal, Manipur INDIA
Fax + 91 385 2451398
E-mail: [email protected]
Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman
Governor for India in the Asian Development Bank
Minister of Finance, Ministry of Finance
Government of India
New Delhi, India 23093289 / 23092828 23092510 / 23092810
Project Director, NESRIP PWD. Manipur,
Room No. A-301, 2nd Floor, South Block,
PWD Complex, Khuyathong Imphal.
E-mail: [email protected]