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Is another Nandigram waiting to occur in Manipur?
Is Manipur on the verge of becoming another Nandigram? Local people in Langol-Lamphelpat area warned state government to halt proposal of acquiring land for setting up the NIT, otherwise it would create a Nandigram-like situation in Manipur also.
IS MANIPUR on the verge of becoming another Nandigram? Local people in Imphal, state capital, have warned the state government to halt the proposal of acquiring land for setting up the National Institute of Technology otherwise it would create a Nandigram-like situation in Manipur also. Strong resentment is prevailing in the ethnic and minority community over the likely acquisition of Langol-Lamphelpat area in Imphal for setting up of a National Institute of Technology in Manipur.
The locals have alleged that the state government has chosen the site in Langol-Lamphelpat area for setting up NIT because of the pressure mounted by majority community. They said that a number of historical buildings belonging to the Christian community in the area would be destroyed if the government starts working on the proposal for setting up the institute at the projected site.
Of the 300-acre land earmarked now as the proposed site for constructing the NIT, some 149-acre of land belongs to 3,000 families living in the area most of whom belong to mixed ethnic tribal communities of the state. The area has four churches and one synagogue which are held in much reverence by the people in the state.
According to sources, the government had earlier proposed to set up the NIT at Kyamgei but changed the decision later because of growing political pressure from local leaders.
Madhu Chandra Singh, regional secretary, All India Christian Council said: “The government chose Langol-Lamphelpat area over-riding strong protests by the ethnic and minority communities. The state government always considers people of these communities as soft target."
Talking to merinews, Singh said: “People of the area welcomed the decision for setting up of an NIT in Manipur as it would help youths to become technical graduates. But, the site chosen by the government is not appropriate for the college as it would destroy large number of homes, and more importantly a number of Christian churches and a Jewish synagogue also. These sites are part of history.” 
Earlier, a delegation of the “Joint Action Committee for Protection of Residential, Agricultural lands and Wetland of Langol-Lamphelpat Areas” led by Kim Gangte, former Member of Parliament, met activists, lawyers, human rights activists and political figures in the national capital this week to focus attention on attempts of the government to seize people’s lands that may result in anger among the people in the north eastern state.
The delegation said that if Manipur government continues to pursue acquisition of  land for the proposed college, there is a fear of another Nandigram erupting in the state of Manipur. The land acquisition will destroy the harmonious social fabric that existed between different communities, particularly of the hill and valley and may provoke communal disharmony in the state, they added.
Madhu Chandra Singh told merinews that All India Christian Council has even constituted a National Level Fact Finding Team. The team will conduct a public jury hearing of the affected area of the proposed site and approach Manipur Government accordingly in this issue.
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