TODAY -

Kwatha villagers vow to continue bandh
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, February 20 2011: The Kwatha Village Authority today announced that they will continue to block the Imphal-Moreh section of NH-39 until and unless their demand for land demarcation is taken up by the authority.

The villagers are imposing blockade along the highway with effect from midnight of February 17 .

Addressing a press conference at Manipur Press Club, Imphal, Angom Amu, chairman, Kwatha Village Authority alleged that despite the promulgation of restriction under CrPC 144 at the disputed land at Khebung hills, villagers of Khebi felling trees in the forest of the disputed area for their jhum cultivation and collection of charcoal.

The said area of around 60 acre has been under the control of Khwatha villagers for a long time and controversy between the two villages surfaced when Khebi villagers started intruding into the area and started felling trees and practicing jhum cultivation.

As there would come a clash between the two village if intervene, Khwatha villagers filed a petition to the Imphal West First Track Court in 2003.An order of the court prevented Khebi villagers from entering the area saying that the land belongs to Khwatha village.

There was an instant of rising up a tension as Khebi villagers continue to utilize the land, Amu said.

Later, in 2009, they requested Chandel DC to demarcate the border between the two villages but the demarcation process was stayed by an order of the court.

In response to a petition filed in April, 2010, the High Court issued an order on November 20 last allowing demarcation of the boundary.

A notification was issued by the Moreh ADC regarding the matter.

As per the notification, around 20 villagers of Kwatha along with ADC Moreh, officials of settlement office, Moreh Police led by an SDPO went to the Khebung hill for demarcation of the land.

However, a large number of Khebi villagers armed with deadly weapons were found already there to prevent the demarcation.

They attacked to the Kwatha villagers by pelting stones.

Police and government officials who were with them could do nothing but to leave the spot, the chairman said.

After around three month later, the Moreh ADC fixed the date for demarcation of land once again on February 10 but later, Kwatha village authority was informed of postponement of the date on March 9 next.

While the demarcation could not be conducted, due to rapid felling down of the tress by Khebi villagers, the forest has been totally destroyed.

In this prevailing situation, tension among the villagers of the two villages is hiking up.

Kwatha villagers even thought of rising up together to bring an end to the dispute.

But it was cool down considering a big clash between the villagers and decided to intensify their pressure to the government authority instead.

The indefinite blockade along the Imphal-Moreh section commenced from February 17 will continue till government brings an end to the dispute by conducting the boundary demarcation at the earliest, Amu said hinting of intensifying their stir if not hear by the government authority.


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