Manipur: ATSUM hits back at HAC, demands clarification on statement 
ATSUM | file image Credit: EastMojo image

Imphal: The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) on Wednesday appealed to the Manipur government to repeal the eviction order of eight Churches constructed in Tribal Colony in Imphal East district.

Speaking to media persons, ATSUM general secretary SR Andria termed nature and the eviction order’s timing as unfortunate. He expressed dismay over the show cause notice issued during Christmas.

On December 24, 2020, sub-divisional officer, Porompat, Sanoujam Surchandra Singh, issued an eviction order stating that 13 encroachers are encroaching over government land via Churches, garage etc.

The show-cause notice was served under Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Manipur Public Premises (Eviction of unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1978.

According to ATSUM, the Supreme Court in 2009 passed an order stated that all religious structures constructed within the premises of public parks, streets, public places etc must be regulated. The order asked to formulate a policy regarding the removal/relocation/regularisation of unauthorised constructions.

Based on the Supreme Court direction, the state government in 2010 went ahead and formed a committee comprising of the then chief secretary as a chairman and various secretaries of the state departments as members under the Manipur Policy for Review of unauthorised Construction of Religious Nature on Public Parks, Public Places, the students said.

However, the student body alleged that in 2011, the state government listed 188 standing religious places in the state to be regularised, excluding Churches.

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“We feel that it is unfortunate and we appeal the state government to repeal such order issued on 27 October 2011 and make it inclusive of the whole religious community and come out with a new list, so that the principle of secularism of our country is well implemented,” said Andria.

As per reports, most of the churches in Tribal Colony, New Checkon, Imphal were constructed after 1974 before the Supreme Court guideline for regularisation of existing unauthorised construction in the name of Temple, Church, Mosque or other religious worshipping places at public parks and public places.

Moreover, as per the order issued on 27 October 2011, the state cabinet approved the proposal for regularisation of 188 religious structures in five districts in the first phase on payment of nominal premium of Rs 100 each.

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