From our Special Correspondent
IMPHAL, Feb 2: Erabot Yumkham, MLA representing the Wangekhi constituency led some activists to seize 16 excavators and trucks while removing earth from a reserve forest area at Mantri Pukhri. He and the activists snatched the keys which were later handed over to the police with the report that they were scooping earth illegally from the reserve forest.
The drivers were reported to have told the police and the MLA that they had ownership deeds issued by the revenue department. However, the MLA had pointed out that it could not be tenable since it was a reserve forest area. Talking to reporters, Yumkham said that there is lawlessness in Manipur and there is no meaning of the existence of police in the State.
It was expected that the drivers would be pulled up and chargesheeted since the areas fall in reserve forest. However, Yumkham was underestimating the dirty nexus. He is not in good terms with the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi. In the past he had led protesters opposing some policies of the government. Under the circumstances it does not come as a surprise that instructions were given to the police. Eventually all the trucks and excavators had been set free and the smirking drivers left for home. Law is flouted in Manipur with impunity and Yumkham has reasons to fume.