Auction turns to stone pelting

IMPHAL, May 12: An auction conducted to select those to be permitted to take out stones and sand for a year from Sekmai River turned into a stone pelting incident when the local people tried to stop the auction. The incident was stopped from becoming worse when police intervened timely to control the situation. Following the incident, it has now been decided that taking out stones and sand from the river will be stopped altogether.

According to reports received from the place of incident, an apex body formed by combining 21 groups of the area, called Schedule Caste Development Committee has been conducting yearly auctions to take out stones and sand from Sekmai River since the last many yeays. The money arising out from the auction is then put to development works of Sekmai.

The auction for 2013 was about to be conducted at Sekmai Schedule Caste Community Hall at Konjengleima at Sekmai at 11 am today, when 18 groups out of the 21 group of the committee objected to the auction.

The reason for the objection as put by one group is that continuous taking out of stones and sand from the river resulted into natural ecological imbalance of the river leading to the paddy fields irrigated by the water of the river not bearing fruit. Moreover, it was being seen to have caused scarcity of water in the wells and ponds in the area.

When there come up two different groups within the committee, one objecting and the other favouring the auction, the group raising objections started pelting stones while the auction was about to begin. The doors and windows of the community hall were destroyed in the incident.

A clash occurred resulting into breaking of chairs and tables during a meeting which was later  attended by two representatives each from the 21 groups in the community hall.

The dispute was finally settled when it was resolved that taking out of stones and sand from the river will not be allowed from June 1, 2013 and whoever found doing it will be fined Rs 5000.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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