Thoubal, Nov 10 : A large number of people from Thoubal district today staged a protest rally against the Government’s move to shift the National Sports University (NSU) complex from Yaithibi Loukon to Sanjenbam and Koutruk area in Imphal West district.
The possibility of the Government shifting the NSU from Yaithibi Loukon gained currency after Union Minister of State (Independent charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports, Vijay Goel, who visited the site some days back, stated that Yaithibi Loukon is not suitable for construction of the NSU as the site is a low lying area.
The protest rally began from two ends – one from Khongjom side and the other from Kakching Lamkhai in Thoubal district.
The rally was organised under the initiative of the National Sports University Demand Committee, Thoubal district to urge Delhi to construct the same at Yaithibi Loukon where all procedure for construction of the university complex has been completed.
On the other hand people of Sora village staged a sit-in-protest at their village denouncing acquisition of land from Yaithibi Loukon for construction of the sports university.
As a result a large number of people who were heading towards Khongjom demanding construction of the National Sports university from Kakching site were halted by a strong police team.
Placards and banners denouncing the State BJP leader Th Chaoba and Vijay Goel were carried during the rally. Words warning of serious consequences over the failure to begin construction of the Sports University were also written on the placards.
With a view to avoid any possible clash between the pro and anti-university groups police stopped the rallyists at the welcome sign put up at Kakching town.
Thereafter a confrontation ensued between the rallyists and the police team forcing the cops to ultimately fire tear gas shells to disperse the rallyists.
Later the people from the Kakching gathered at the oil depot stand right behind the National Highway at Kakching Lamkhai.
On the other hand thousands of people from Heirok, Khongjom, Lamding, Khangabok
and Wangjing gathered at Kodompokpi Sports Complex, Wangjing and began the rally at around 12 noon and marched towards Slopeland Public School where a public meeting was scheduled to be held.
However, police halted them at Khongjom area to foil any unwanted circumstances between the people of Sora and the rallyists.
However later in the day, the public meeting did take place at the designated venue and speakers condemned State BJP functionaries particularly Th Chaoba for allegedly instigating Vijay Goel to shift the NSU from Yaithibi Loukon. All speakers warned the Government of serious consequences if the Sports University is shifted from Yaithibi Loukon.
President of the Committee said that Narendra Modi announced that the NSU will be set up in Manipur in recognition of the talent and contributions of numerous sports persons from Manipur.
Following the announcement, in 2014, the then Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and YAS Joint Secretary visited the State and inspected three sites namely Yaithibi Loukon in Thoubal sub division, Laiching in Kakching sub division and Chaobok in Lilong sub division.
On August 27, 2015, Director, YAS Manipur W Bhaktaraj handed over 336.93 acres of Yaithibi Loukon to the Deputy Secretary (Sports), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for construction of the sports university.
However, Vijay Goel who visited the State on November 4 stated that Yaithibi Loukon is not suitable for construction of the NSU as the site is a low lying area. As such, there is a possibility that the sports university may be shifted from Yaithibi Loukon.
Source: The Sangai Express