Tripura: Local stage protests against forest encroachment by ex-militants

Agartala: Locals of Kanchanpur sub-division in North Tripura district on Tuesday blocked the main highway protesting against the forceful encroachment in the reserve forest areas of the Manu-Mangpui region by a group of surrendered militants.

However, after consulting with the local police station, the blockade was lifted within half an hour, as confirmed by Udhyam Debbarma, the OC of Kanchanpur police station. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the protests, a protester said, “A large group of surrendered militants have installed bamboo structures inside the reserve forest areas and also arbitrarily occupied lands of local tribal communities who had been allowed to use the land on a patta agreement. Even though SDM Kanchanpur Rajat Pant warned encroachers to stop construction in the forest land they refused to halt construction.”

The protesters demanded that the encroachers be evicted from the reserve forest sites, and threatened to intensify their protests if their demands were not met.

The protesters gathered at Kanchanpur market at around 11 am and blocked the main road, causing a disruption to normal traffic movement.


“A team of police officials rushed to the spot and talked to the agitators. After an assurance from the end of police, the locals called off the blockade paving way for the normalcy to return. We have informed them that the matter had been already sent to the topmost end of the civil administration and Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha is himself reviewing the matter at the civil secretariat,” Debbarma informed EastMojo.

Speaking on the issue, SDM Rajat Pant said he had visited the area in question and also held a meeting with the ex-militants who are seeking a rehabilitation package from the state.

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“According to their estimates there are as many as 1,235 deprived returnee families who did not receive any benefits from the state government in accordance with the peace agreement. Peeved by the government’s apathy, the ex-militants resorted to such sort of construction. From our end, we have told them to furnish all the relevant documents to substantiate their claims. We have also forwarded the matter to the higher authorities and are waiting for a response,” Pant told EastMojo a day after his visit to the spot on April 11.     

Also Read | Tripura CM warns ‘troublemakers’ of stern action

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