Kuki bodies demand amicable settlement of encroachment issue
Newmai News Network
IMPHAL, March 6
Expressing its indignation to the Manipur government for maintaining stoic silence on the issue of alleged encroachment taking place inside Tamenglong district by inhabitants of Jiribam sub-division of Imphal East district, the Kuki Students’ Organisation Tamenglong (KSO-T) and Kuki Women Union Tamenglong (KWU-T) urged the Manipur government to act in the right earnest to bring an amicable solution to the impasse.
Issuing a clarion call to the people of Tamenglong district to be prepared for any eventuality, both the organizations said the state government will be held accountable for any untoward incidents. While alleging that the present impasse is the handiwork of a few “avaricious and communal elements” from Jiribam who for long have been coveting the vast stretched of uninhabited lands within the precincts of Tamenglong district for residential and plantation purposes, the KSO and KWU said these elements have been trying to grab their ancestral lands through “fair and foul” means.
“As for the Constitution of India has explicitly enshrined to the sanctity and inviolability of the tribal lands, they took recourse to foul means by opting to doctored and bogus documents,” they said. Strongly objecting to this perpetual encroachment, the tribal community came out strongly and imposed a 72-hour bandh along National Highway 37 from the midnight of February 27 which was also endorsed by KSO-GHQ and Zeliangrong Student Union Manipur (ZSUM).
According to these two Kuki bodies, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Tamenglong district had issued a missive on February 20, to the ADC Jiribam to immediately hold the ongoing encroachment but so far this overture has not been honoured and the encroachers are still squatting at Leisangphai (Muktokhal) village. “The Additional deputy commissioner of Jiribam instead of evicting the encroachers has been tacitly endorsing to this felony,” the KSO amnd KWU further alleged.
Demanding that the status quo should be maintained on the government gazette issued by the principal secretary (Hills), Government of Manipur, as the order is in consonance with the Manipur (Village Authority Act 1956) at any alteration or deviation to the status quo shall met with hostility.
“Asserting that Leisangphai (Muktokhal) Village is the offshoot of Keiphundai village which was gifted to (Late) Jamkam Lenthang, Chief of Leisangphai (Muktokhal) Village by chief of Keiphundai Village as per the time-honoured Kuki Customary Laws & practices. As such he has started paying the Hill House Tax since the year 1956 vide the year order dated December 16, 1956. Keiphundai Village which is progenitor of Leisangphai village, where the present encroachment is going on, has been recognized since the days of the Britishers issued by the Manipur State Hill Sub Divisional Court on July 16, 1942,” the two Kuki organisations pointed out.
As such, the claim made by the Ngamkhei Kanba Lup Jiribam that Muktokhal is under Jiribam sub-division is ridiculous and holds no water base on the facts and evidences available, the Kuki bodies said.