More than 80 houses belonging to people who had encroached upon Manipur’s forest land were razed to the ground early on Monday by the police at Awaching Kshetri Bengoon Mamang Village in Imphal East district.
Additional Superintendent of Police M Kumarjit, who led the demolition drive in the Khetri Begoon area, said the action came following repeated government notices that were ignored by the encroachers.
The last notice was issued in March.
When forest officials along with armed policemen initiated the eviction drive on Monday, women tried to block the road by burning old tyres and logs.
According to officials, mild force had to be used to chase them away.
Meanwhile, the evicted residents have demanded government help after the demolition drive left many families without a roof over their heads at a time when Manipur has been experiencing torrential rains.
Although everything, including a primary school was demolished on a court order, one mosque was left untouched so as to not hurt the religious sentiments of those who had been residing in the area for a long time.
Forest Department officials said similar demolitions have been going on at many other places.
Some persons evicted a few years back have returned to the reserved areas, the officials added.
The eviction drives will continue at all other reserved forest areas in the state, the officials further said.
Meanwhile, the twenty four hours total shut down strike called by All Manipur Muslim Organizations Coordinating Committee (AMMOCOC) against evictions has been extended to forty eight hours across the State.
On the other hand, ForestMinister, Thounaojam Shyamkumar stated that the Department will continue eviction drive against illegal land encroachers in all reserve forests.