By Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur
The Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur (CPNRM) expresses our strong condemnation regarding the news report of the Manipur police of the Government of Manipur for filing First Information Report (FIR) to communities protesting against Petroleum Exploration in Manipur at the environmental public hearing organized by Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on 17th August 2012 at Nungba. The filing of FIR has proved that the Government of India, Govt of Manipur and the Jubilant Oil and Gas Pvt. Ltd (JOPL) only insist on militaristic forms of development in clear violation of indigenous peoples rights.
The Committee would like to clarify that, Communities were expressing their opinions freely against oil exploration in Manipur. That, the Government of India, Government of Manipur and JOGPL has signed production sharing contracts and Petroleum Exploration licenses in 2010 without informing and taking the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples of Tamenglong, Churachandpur, Jiribam and rest of Manipur. That, innocent villagers are duped to sign No Objections letters or NOC for Seismic surveys by Alphageo Company without informing them the details & impacts of seismic surveys and oil exploration.
There is no question of rioting during the public hearing at Nungba. That, communities did not resort to any violent means but express their rightful opinions to defend and protect their land and future democratically. Rather the communities were infuriated as the MPCB’s officials hastily announced postponement of the public hearing, also in a clear cut case of deceiving the communities.
There is no question of coercion to the Deputy Commissioner, Tamenglong, any officials of the MPCB, and the JOGPL representatives to cancel the public hearing. The communities were only demanding for a written note of cancellation of public hearing as MPCB and the Government officials in earlier public hearings on proposed Tipaimukh Dam, especially the one at Kaimai Village on 26th March 2008 has falsely reported of public hearing despite the fact that the hearing could not be held due to massive protest from affected communities. The CPNRM would like to call upon the Government of India, Government of Manipur and the Jubiliant Oil and Gas Private Limited (JOGPL) to:
Stop all Oil and Gas Exploration & Drilling in Tamenglong, Churachandpur, Jiribam in Manipur
Repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958
Convenor, CPNR MANIPUR
Source: PRESS RELEASE, 24TH August 2012, COMMITTEE ON THE PROTECTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES IN MANIPUR
IMPHAL MANIPUR- 795001
Dr. Malem Ningthouja