Mapithel Dam affected locals closed the Imphal-Ukhrul road on Monday

Imphal: Following assurance from the state government to hold a meeting on March 5 to discuss about their grievances, the proposed 48-hour strike called by the Mapithel Dam Affected Headmen Chiefs and Elders Organisation (MDAHCEO) starting from Sunday has been called off temporarily on Monday.

he total shutdown, which began on Sunday midnight along the National Highway, altogether 150 protesters sustained injuries as police resorted to tear gas firing to disperse the crowds at Sikibung junction on Monday.

A vehicle belonging to the sub-divisional officer (SDO) of Jessami in Ukhrul district was also allegedly vandalised by the locals.

“The Mapithel Dam Affected Headmen Chiefs and Elders Organisation (MDAHCEO) and JAC Against Force Construction of Mapithel Dam had temporarily suspended the bandh on received of invitation and assurance from the Govt. of Manipur on March 5,” MDAHCEO chairman K Ngaranmi said on a statement issued.

The dam affected families of 23 villages, both downstream and upstream, have also appealed to the government to finalise the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on the proposed meeting of invitation for an amicable solution on the Mapithel Dam issues.

The total shutdown was called to protest against the state government’s failure to solve the long-pending demands of the villages affected by the contentious Mapithel Dam project, it said.

On January 24 this year, the MDAHCEO had submitted an ‘ultimatum’ to the chief minister N Biren Singh and the department concerned for entering into an MoA based on already agreed terms and points based on November 16, 2018.

On February 5, the dam affected families had also submitted a ‘reminder’ letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him not to plan for an inauguration of the dam until and unless the rehabilitation and resettlement packages for the families displaced and affected by it are completed.

The affected locals are demanding forest rights, fishing rights and economic livelihood packages to the government, which as per the locals, are yet to fulfil their demands.

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