Kangpokpi: As part of the State Government’s effort to consolidate and demarcate the boundaries of notified forests of the State, Kangpokpi Forests Division, Forests Department carried out an eviction drive at Kangchup Chiru Reserved Forests.
The drive was led by Divisional Forests Officer, Kangpokpi Forest Division N .Ganesh.
A total of approximately 300 Forest and Police Department staff participated in the drive. It may be mentioned that Kangchup Chiru Reserved Forest was notified as a Reserved Forest by order of H.H in council, Memo No. 6966-8 (C) dated 29/04/1948.
It was observed that villages living in the fringe of the Reserved Forest have been encroaching into the Reserved Forest in violation of the rules and acts as laid down by Indian Forest Act, 1927, read with Manipur Forest Rules,2021 for protection and regulation of activities inside notified forest areas of the State.
Following due procedure of the law, eviction orders/notices were served to the encroachers with warnings not to encroach and to remove all structures erected inside the Reserved Forests. Preliminary Offense Reports were also filed against the encroachers.
The encroachers were given time to take down all illegal. Structures constructed so that eviction drives may begin. However, the encroachers paid no heed to the notices and instead fresh encroachments were observed.
The Department thus had to carry out eviction drives as per provisions provided by the law. Under construction houses (unoccupied) at Kangchup Chiru Village and structures and gates erected inside Freedom Hills Resort, Phayeng were removed from the Reserved Forest with the presence of the Magistrates detailed by respective DC.
It may be noted that as per Rule 73 of the Manipur Forest Rules 2021, the fresh construction shall be summarily evicted without notice. In spite of that, the notices were served to the encroachers.
The combined team of Forest and Police is met with resistance and had to react with the Use of Force to disperse the villagers. Three Forest Guards and six Police staff suffered serious injuries because of stone pelting by the villagers. They have been admitted to hospitals in critical condition. FIRs will be filed and similar actions were taken up against all encroachers.
The Chief Conservator of Forests, T-I, L. Joykumar Singh, also attended the drive with SP& ASP, Imphal West and Kangpokpi along with Range Forests Officers of Kangpokpi Forest Division, said a press note released by Divisional Forests Officer Kangpokpi Forest Division Government of Manipur