Protest against reduction of PMGKAY rice quantity in Manipur

Correspondent IMPHAL, APR 23 | Publish Date: 4/23/2020 10:04:49 AM IST

In the absent of fair implementation of relief measures owing to the  lockdown, people continued to defy social distancing protocol and protested against distribution of less quantity of rice under PMGKAY.

Residents of Top Khongnangkhong under Khurai Assembly A/C in Imphal East district today staged a protest against not receiving the actual quantity of rice under the national food scheme.

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) promised provision of five kgs of rice/wheat free of cost to each individual among others as part of relief measure for people during the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.

In Manipur, distribution of the same items started few days ago by allocating rice quota for each Assembly constituency through the concerned deputy commissioners.

However, complaints poured in regarding distribution of less quantity of rice from nooks and corners of the state.

When no one was ready to address their complaints, residents of Top Khongnangkhong today staged  a protest defying  curfew and social distancing protocol.

The residents alleged they were receiving only two kg each against the government promised five kg of rice. They staged the protest at a local playground placing the rice in front of them,.

Police who rushed to the spot however attempted to disperse the protestors, alleging  that they were not maintaining social distancing protocol.

The residents engaged in a heated argument with the police following which they were allowed to stage the protest strictly adhering the social distancing.

The police further arranged a responsible officer of the Imphal East DC office so that the protesting residents could express their grievances.

According to complaints by protestors, NFSA card holders received the exact quantity of rice, five kg per member of the family of the card holders, however, those non-card holders were given only two kgs of rice.

They urged officers not to take advantage of the restriction of people’ gathering but  to be sincere enough to address people’s grievances at such a crucial and tough situation. 

Mention may be made that few days ago, residents of the area had also defied curfew and lockdown to register a strong protest against non-distribution of NSFA rice for months.

The protest staged by the residents of the locality was amid complaints of distribution of lesser quantity of rice under the food scheme arising different parts of the state.

Most of the complaints were received through social media networks like Whatsapp and Facebook.

Some villages in the hill district of Kamjong alleged that they received lesser quantity of food allocated under the food scheme of the Centre.

They claimed receiving only one kg of rice per head while expressing suspicion of government machineries in collusion with elected representatives diverting the quota meant for the general public.

Following several complaints from the villages, NGOs and CSOs including COVID-19 Special Task Force (STF) of the United Committee Manipur (UCM) rushed to the villages and distributed essential food items to the villagers.


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