Speaking as the guest of honour, Human Rights Alert executive director Babloo Loitongbam highlighted the alleged nexus between poppy plantations and the urea fertilizer crisis in the state.
All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) on Saturday observed its 56th foundation day at its headquarters at DMU campus, Imphal.
Volunteers of AMSU donated blood at JNIMS and RIMS as part of the observation. A souvenir was also released on the occasion and prizes of different competitions were also distributed.
Speaking as the guest of honour, Human Rights Alert executive director Babloo Loitongbam highlighted the alleged nexus between poppy plantations and the urea fertilizer crisis in the state. Reports are now emerging of urea being used for poppy plantations in the hills, he said and wondered whether the fertilizers are being diverted for the same.
Babloo said that although the state requires 2.3 lakh bags of urea for paddy cultivation, the Manipur government is demanding 5.8 lakh bags of urea and the union government has sanctioned 4.4 lakh bags of urea. Although the state has received more than the required quantity, the artificial scarcity of fertilizers points to gross mismanagement, he added.
He also said that in the past there were cases of urea fertilizer being seized by law enforcement agencies while transporting to Myanmar. But those cases were not probed properly, he added.
The HRA executive director criticised the state government for working for themselves, instead for the people, and said the NSA, which is meant for heinous crimes, is being used upon people who speak the truth. As more and more wealthy people are entering the electoral politics in the state, the situation has worsened, so much so that one has to be in drugs related businesses to stand a chance in getting elected. If the people do not wake up and fight it unitedly, dark days are ahead for the state, he added.
Former president of AMSU, Ng Nongyai lamented that Manipur continues to depend on the Centre in terms of food and economy. Highlighting the range of issues that the state is facing, he asserted the need for a collective effort.
Recalling how the student body was formed, AMSU president Haobijam Chalamba highlighted how the student body was formed amidst fierce protest against food scarcity in 1965, where four individuals were killed by the authorities during protests. Stating that AMSU has been on the forefront of different issues of the state, he appealed to the people to take responsibility for a better future.