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Manipur police halt illegal construction of bridge in Chandel

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Manipur police halt illegal construction of bridge in Chandel
Officers at the location where an unauthorised bridge was built.

On Sunday, Manipur police finally moved to stop the unapproved construction of a bridge over the Manipur River in the Chandel district, which borders Kakching district. A police team from the Sugnu police station in the Kakching district arrived at the location where the bridge’s construction was starting, despite the protests of the residents of Kuki-dominated K Molnom and the villages that border it in the Chandel district.

The Sugnu police station in Kakching district has operational control over the location where the illegal construction of the bridge is taking place, even though it is located in Chandel district.

On Sunday, a group from the Sugnu police station made contact with the locals. They spoke with them in an effort to persuade them of the consequences of building the bridge without first obtaining authorization or clearance from the state government’s appropriate authorities, and it is said that they were asked to stop working right away.

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According to sources, a bridge over the same Manipur River at Sugnu connects the residents of K Molnom and the nearby villages to other regions of the state. But a year ago, following the state’s outbreak of ethnic violence, videos showing the start of the foundation for the construction of a second bridge went popular online.

In a recent notification, the Chandel district administration forbade anyone from building a bridge in or near the security sensitive zone without the consent of the appropriate authority, despite officially confirming the start of the groundwork for the bridge’s construction in an unauthorised manner.

The notification had cautioned that those who disregard the DC’s compliance or directive would face appropriate legal action. Based on reports that groundwork for the bridge is still being done in spite of the district administration’s warning, a team comprising members of the state police, the BSF, and an official delegation of the district administration attempted to visit the site on Saturday to assess the situation firsthand.

The villagers constructed obstacles that prevented the team led by SDO Chakpikarong sub-division, escorted by the combined team, from reaching the spot. Many residents, primarily women from K Molnom and the surrounding villages, blocked the road, preventing the crew from reaching the location.

On Sunday, however, a crew from the Sugnu police station visited the location where the bridge’s foundation was being laid and assessed the situation on the ground. According to the article, they requested that the villages stop all activities linked to the bridge’s construction right away.

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