Tripura CM seeks details on forest land encroachment amid protests
Manik Saha

AgartalaChief Minister Manik Saha asked the North Tripura district to collect details of people who have encroached on forest land in Manumanpui leading to protests in the area by locals, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Concerned over the encroachment, Saha held a high-level meeting with senior officials, including the district magistrate of North Tripura G Nagesh Kumar, at the secretariat on Tuesday.

“An elaborate discussion took place in the meeting over the forceful possession of reserved forest areas at Manumanpui in presence of the chief secretary, director-general of police and the principal chief conservator of forest.

The chief minister asked the DM to collect details of the encroachers and send a report to the government at the earliest,” Home Secretary Saradhindu Choudhury told PTI.

The details sought are names and addresses of the encroachers, their intention and their past, he said, adding that it was not yet confirmed how many people have encroached on the reserved forest area.

The superintendent of police of Special Branch was told to investigate if they have a militancy background, and submit a report.

Over the last one month, people from different parts of the state, including surrendered militants, have been building temporary structures at Manumanpui in Kanchanpur subdivision, notwithstanding the objection of the Forest Department. Around 1,250 families have already taken shelter in the area, according to local sources.

On Tuesday, hundreds of locals who have got pattas under the Forest Rights Act staged a protest at Manumanpui, demanding that their plots be vacated immediately.

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A large number of Brus were also rehabilitated in the Kanchanpur sub-division after they fled to Tripura from Mizoram following ethnic clashes in 1997.

A district official said the encroachers of forest land want rehabilitation, including houses, in exchange for vacating the land.

Also Read | Tripura: Locals protest against forest encroachment by ex-militants

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