No Nagaland rest houses in Jessami : CM
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 09 2009: Stating that occupation of the barrack left vacant by BSF in Jessami, under Chingai block of Ukhrul district, by Nagaland Armed Police (NAP) is not acceptable, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh has, however, clarified that no rest houses have been constructed by the Nagaland Government in Jessami.

Talking to mediapersons in this office chamber late evening today, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh informed that acting on the newspaper reports that Nagaland Government has set up rest houses apart from posting its NAP in Jessami, the State Government had acted promptly and despatched a joint team of the Police and the Revenue Department for verification.

The Chief Secretary of the State had also written to his Nagaland counterpart on this controversial issue and the response has been received.

Pictures don't lie Sir CM : One of the rest houses built on the side of Manipur

The State Government was not consulted on the occupation of the barrack by the NAP after the BSF left, said the Chief Minister and added that it was also not done under any directives from the Centre.

It was occupied by the NAP in accordance with an understanding between the BSF and the Government of Nagaland, the Chief Minister clarified.

In this regard, the Chief Minister said that he has talked with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today and the latter clarified that the Centre had not given any directive for the NAP to occupy the barrack left vacant by the BSF.

Accordingly, a letter has also been sent denouncing the conduct of the Nagaland Government, he said.

Questioning under whose authority BSF handed over their barrack to NAP, even if it is temporary, Chief Minister Ibobi categorically stated that this is unacceptable.

Attempt is being made to amicably settle the issue, the Chief Minister said, adding that inspite of that, Nagaland Government and BSF have no right to come to such mutual understanding and the same has been pointed out in the letter.

While appreciating the efforts of the Jessami people to protect the land of Manipur, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh reiterated the stand of the State Government not to compromise with the territorial integrity of Manipur at any cost.

Not an inch of land will be given to anybody, the Chief Minister declared.

In response to questions from the mediapersons on the report of the joint team of the Police and the Revenue Department and whether any definite deadline has been given for withdrawal of NAP, the Chief Minister said he would wait for the result of the talks held with the Union Home Minister as well as of the letter written.

When asked if the State Government did not have any information about the construction of the rest houses by the Nagaland Government in the territory of Manipur and whether the BSF posted in Jessami was meant for deployment in Manipur or Nagaland, the Chief Minister asserted that Nagaland Government has not constructed any rest houses in Jessami but did not give any response to the deployment of the BSF.

It may be noted here that a team of mediapersons, which had visited the place, recently returned and filed the story with photographic evidences on the construction of the rest houses at Jessami.

To a question on alleged selling of land belonging to Jessami to Nagaland, the Chief Minister noted that there is some problems in implementation of land law in tribal areas, though he did not elaborated on it.

The Chief Minister went on to say that arrangements have been made for deployment of adequate police forces in the police station not only of Jessami but also in all remote border areas.

In the past, there used to be some difficulties as the strength of the State forces was just 15 thousands.

When the mediapersons drew his attention to the aspiration of Jessami villagers to include them in the ongoing VDF recruitment as well, the Chief Minister assured that efforts would be made to include the villagers of Jessami in the proposed recruitment of 300 VDFs in respect of Ukhrul district.

Meanwhile, sources from Ukhrul district administration conveyed that a preliminary report has been submitted to the Government in connection with the issue of encroaching over the land of Jessami by Nagaland Government.

The Deputy Commissioner is scheduled to visit Jessami tomorrow and is likely to hand over a detailed report to the Government on his return tomorrow itself.

The State Home Department had also sought a report from the Deputy Commissioner once again today.

According to another source, though the Nagaland Government had not given any information to its Manipur counterpart in connection with the issue, villagers of Jessami had always brought the matter to the notice of the State Government in time.