Stand-off between Mao, Southern Angami taxi unions
Kohima, May 20 (EMN): In a delayed report received here, the taxi unions of Southern Angami area of Nagaland and Mao/Senapati areas of Manipur were said to have been facing a standoff for several days now wherein, taxis belonging to each side were restricted to ply on one another’s jurisdiction.
It was reported that the Southern Angami Tata Sumo Union (SATSU) has imposed a restriction on the movement of vehicles belonging to its Mao and Senapati counterparts to ply beyond Khuzama towards Nagaland since May 8.
When contacted, SATSU president Nozosal confirmed this and explained the issue at hand. Apparently, the matter dates back to 2010 when a driver under SATSU, while returning from Senapati after dropping passengers, was harassed by members of the taxi units on Manipur side on turf issues. Later on, it was said that both sides met at Khuzama, which is the last village of Nagaland before reaching Manipur, and had made several agreements including providing security to drivers plying on either sides and not to disturb the peaceful environment of the border areas on both sides.
However, owing to some internal reasons, SATSU reportedly did not ply from Nagaland to the said areas in Manipur for a few months and zonal taxis under All Nagaland Taxi Association (ANTA) units of Mao and Senapati were ferrying passengers from both sides. When the taxis under SATSU began plying again recently, they were said to have been asked not to.
Following this, it was learned that a consultative meeting between SATSU and the ANTA units of Mao and Senapati was convened on April 27 at Kisama in Nagaland, in which both presidents did not turn up. However, SATSU officials said the members present discussed the issue and ANTA Mao and Senapati were asked whether they would honour the 2010 agreement or not. According to SATSU president, the ANTA Mao and Senapati unit members could not deliver a decision as their leaders were not present and they were given time till May 2 to respond.
With the two units failing to respond or to negotiate even till May 7, SATSU is said to have been left with no option but resort to restricting the movement of taxis under the former to ply on Southern Angami areas beyond Khuzama gate from May 8, after duly informing the Southern Angami Public Organisation (SAPO), SAYO and the OC at Khuzama check gate.
ANTA appeals for amicable settlement
The All Nagaland Taxi Association (ANTA) president, Vibasetuo Solo, when contacted, told Eastern Mirror that the association was aware of the matter and has urged the two parties to amicably settle their differences. Stating both associations were affiliated wings of the ANTA, he appealed to both sides to resolve the issue amicably.
DAN not to allow ‘petty quarrels’ sour neighbourly relations
It was learnt that during the recent visit of chief minister Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu to Manipur, some reporters asked his reaction towards the stricture on movement of Mao taxis in Angami area. Not aware of the issue, CMO staff were said to have informed Liezietsu that it was not so, and he had replied accordingly.
“But on our return, we were informed by our office that such a restriction has been imposed on Mao taxis in Southern Angami areas,” stated a release from CMO media cell.
However, the media cell stated that during the visit, both the chief ministers of Nagaland and Manipur had discussed on mutually beneficial and improvement of relations between the two neighbours including establishment/ improvement of Manipur State Transport Corporation area in Purana Bazaar, Dimapur, and NST Complex in Imphal. It stated that the education minister of Manipur suggested that the government of Nagaland construct building/complex for Manipur in Dimapur and the government of Manipur reciprocate by constructing the NST complex at Imphal.
According to the media cell, a team of legislators from Manipur is expected shortly to Nagaland to pursue the matter.
“Government of Manipur, under the new political dispensation, is reaching out not only to the peoples of the hills districts of Manipur but also to the neighbouring State of Nagaland. And the Government of Nagaland is politically determined to reciprocate the kind gestures and ensure peaceful, neighbourly and harmonious relation between the neighbouring people irrespective of territorial and administrative demarcation like the peoples have maintained since time immemorial,” the release stated.
Referring to the ongoing impasse between the taxi unions across the borders, the CMO media cell stated, “The NPF led DAN government shall not let petty quarrels of some villages in the two states sour relations between the two traditional neighbours, especially now that we have friendly/alliance governments in the two states”.
It alleged that differences that were there between the communities in the recent past were creations of ‘politically vested interests, fueled by political leaders for their own selfish gains.’ But the present dispensations in the two states are determined that cordial relations shall be maintained, it added.
Mao Town Committee appeals
Reacting to the restriction imposed by Southern Angami Tata Sumo Union (SATSU) volunteers on zonal taxi plying from Senapati and Mao to Dimapur/Kohima, the Mao Town Committee (MTC) has, in a release today, stated that serious inconveniences were being caused to commuters coming from and going to Manipur and Nagaland respectively.
“The restriction was imposed without any prior public notification or valid reason. Therefore, we appeal concern Authorities/Union to show empathy to the innocent commuters and solve this issue amicably for a conducive co-existence,” stated the release.