Massive protest in Manipur over proposed farmland acquisition

February 8th, 2009 - 6:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Imphal (Manipur), Feb.8 (ANI): Trouble is brewing in Manipur against the administration’’s plans to acquire farmland to set up an industrial growth centre.
The state government wants to set up a 102 million dollar industrial centre at Chingarel Loukon by acquiring 215 hectares of farmland.
Farmers have vehemently opposed the move, saying it will affect their livelihood.
They held a meeting in state capital Imphal on Saturday where they decided that they would boycott the general elections if the state government carried out the proposal.
Carrying placards denouncing the proposed acquisition of agriculture land, thousands of farmers took part in the rally to voice their protest.
The rally was organized by Waiton Mamang Chingarel Loukon Kanba Lup, a farmers” association along with other local and state level organizations.
The last date for submitting objections on the land acquisition move falls on February 12.
Agitators said at least 12 villages populated by some 30,000 people would be affected.
“It the project is set up, it will affect about 12 villages and around about 30,000 inhabitants,” said Diren Singh, advisor to the farmers” association.
The farmers also demand that a bill be introduced in the assembly to safeguard their interests.
Farmers across India have been up in arms over the moves by various provincial authorities to acquire farmland for industrial purposes.
Last year, Tata Motors” pulled out of eastern West Bengal state a farmers” agitation against a plant to make the Nano, billed as the world’’s cheapest car.
Tata Motors, which built the plant to launch the 2,300 dollars car, had faced violent protests and political opposition over the acquisition of farmland in Singur, an hour’’s drive from Kolkata.
Trouble began after the government took over 1,000 acres of farmland for the factory. The government offered compensation but some farmers refused it, demanding that at least 400 acres of land be given back to them.
The protests reflect a larger standoff between industry in India and farmers unwilling to part with land in a country where two-thirds of the billion-plus population depend on agriculture. (ANI)

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