MMTA threaten stir over occupation of land by troops

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Imphal, Jan 15: The Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA) has submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to intervene and allow free functioning of the Manipur Mountaineering Institute (MMI) at Lamdan in Churachandpur district.

MMTA president N Ibungochoubi said here today that the association was established in 1980 as a state-level sports association as a part of the historic sports movement in the state.

Legendary mountaineer Tenzing Norgay laid the foundation stone of the MMI, the training wing of the MMTA, in 1985 at Lamdan near the Loktak Hydro Electric project in Henglep subdivision of Churachandpur district.

''The MMTA is the only organisation promoting adventure sports in the entire North East region through its training wing MMI. It has produced outstanding mountaineers, including Everest-scaler and Padmashree G Anita, besides a host of international sport climbers, who have won laurels for the country in the Asian Championships,'' the president said.

''Unfortunately, the MMI complex at Lamdan has been occupied by the Army since 2004 in the name of counter-insurgency operations, thereby jeopardising the smooth functioning of the MMI for the past few years,'' he added.

Presently, the MMI complex is occupied by the 15 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI).

''Despite repeated assurances by the Army authorities, including the GOC 57 Mountain Division, to shift their post from the MMI Complex, they have failed to do so,'' Mr Ibungochoubi said.

The MMTA would launch a ''democratic movement'' with the help of the sports-loving people of Manipur from February one to press for their demands, the president said in the memorandum.

UNI

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