Tension brewing as blockade against Ukhrul continues
IMPHAL, NOVEMBER 13
Tension is brewing in the past few days with Tangkhul apex body Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) threatening to impose counter-blockade if the supporters of Seijang Development Committee (SDC) fail to lift its ongoing indefinite blockade along the Imphal-Ukhrul road.
Silent is a Tangkhul village while Seijang is a Meitei village.
The district of Ukhrul in Manipur has been cut off from the rest of the State following the blockade imposed by Seijang villagers under the aegis of SDC since November 11 over the age-old land dispute.
Meanwhile, the United Naga Council (UNC) said today the indefinite bandh on Imphal- Ukhrul road being imposed by the Seijang Development Committee(SDC) due to land dispute with Silent village is highly unwarranted.
The Naga body said the land dispute between the villages of Silent and Seijang cannot be ground for cutting off the life line of the entire people of Ukhrul district, particularly of the Tangkhul Nagas. “The act is markedly communal and is a further confirmation of the social divide on communal lines that has become deeply entrenched in the present state of Manipur. Such blatant provocation and insult of the sentiments of our people under the very nose of the State Government cannot be tolerated,” it stated.
Also reacting to the SDC agitation, the Tangkgul Naga Long (TNL), the apex Tangkhul body has warned negative consequences if the blockade is not lifted immediately. “The whole Tangkhul community cannot be taken for ransom because of a small village land dispute issue,” the TNL said.
It then asked the Seijang Development Committee (SDC) for immediate suspension of the indefinite bandh along Imphal-Ukhrul road. The Tangkhul apex body has also threatened to take up its own course of action. The indefinite Imphal-Ukhrul road bandh call given by SDC since Tuesday is unacceptable because the stir has seriously affected people, particularly the Tangkhul community and hence it should be withdrawn immediately, TNL president P Kazingmei said talking to Newmai News Network here.
The indefinite Imphal-Ukhrul road bandh could provoke counter-agitation if it is not immediately called off, Kazingmei warned.
He alleged that the Manipur Government has taken the SDC blockade likely and pledged that TNL will not remain a silent spectator to the bandh that has crippled normal life.
SDC and Seijang villagers have imposed the indefinite bandh along Imphal-Ukhrul road since Tuesday in protest against the failure of the Manipur Government to resolve the land dispute of the neighbouring villages of Silent and Seijang.
Meanwhile, reports said bandh supporters damaged at least 11 vehicles on Imphal-Ukhrul road.
On November 4, fresh tension resurfaced in the area as police pulled down 5 houses belonging to Silent village.
Fresh tension gripped village Silent under Lamlai Police Station in Imphal East following a police team dismantled five houses which they claimed were constructed in a disputed area, according to Silent village headman.
The police team from Lamlai Police led by SDPO Pandey faced resistance from the villagers as they tore down the five houses around 4:30 pm on the day. Silent village headman SR Ngamkahao said that SDPO Pandey told the villagers that the Home Department ordered to dismantle the five houses in the disputed area.
Ngamkahao, however, said the police officer did not show the copy of the official order to the villagers.
The village chief said a public meeting chaired by Aze Longphang chairman Miyermi Jajo was held at the village Silent on November 4 in connection with a reported threat from the neighbouring village Seijang.
He said the police team led by SDPO Pandey came to the village as the public meeting, which was also attended by many Tangkhul tribe leaders, was in progress and demolished the five houses saying no such houses were allowed to build in disputed area.