Nagaland plays master on Manipur's territory
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, October 05, 2009: Contrary to several clarifications made by the State Chief Minister O Ibobi, including on the floor of the Assembly,that there has been no encroachment of land by neighboring Nagaland, the Nagaland Armed Police (NAP) has set up a post at Jessami in Ukhrul district, and has allegedly committed several atrocities against the villagers of Jessami.

This has been learnt during an inquiry tour conducted by members of the Information Centre for Hill Areas, Manipur (ICHAM), Raphei Katamnao Long (RKL), Tangkhul Youth Council and a team of media persons two days back.

The borders of Manipur and Nagaland are divided by the Chalou/Tezu river on which is built the Akash bridge along the National Highway 150.The Manipur government had set up a police check post on the Jessami side of the bridge in 1970.However, the police post was said to be destroyed by the Phuzuri tribe of Melori subdivision of Nagaland�s Phek district bordering Jessami in Manipur.

The village chairperson of Jessami, Kamiwejoi informed the team that three rest houses of Nagaland had been constructed on the Jessami side during the last three months.

The village head also showed the team members the agricultural land encroached by Nagaland�s Melori villagers.

He also showed two rest houses amidst the thick forest area filled with teak trees.

The team also encountered the village chief of Melori village and another old man from the village at one of the rest houses.

It has been learnt from Jessami villagers that the NAP post on top of Tevumo hill in Jessami was set up about six months back.

The NAP personnel were also said to be staying together with BSF and CRPF personnel who are detailed for duties in Nagaland.

The villagers revealed that the NAP personnel had helped Nagaland�s villagers in times of dispute between villagers of Nagalnd and villagers of Manipur.

Even the SP of Phek district of Nagaland had also interfered in such matters and took side with the Nagaland villagers.

The Jessami villagers lamented that no help ever came from the Manipur police in such crisis.

Jessami is located 118 kilometres north of Ukhrul district headquarters.

The land which Nagaland has encroached on is located 12 kilometres north of Jessami village.

There are around 15 Manipur police personnel said to be posted at the Jessami police station.

However, not more than five personnel were present at the post when the joint team including this reporter visited the post.

The two WLL sets of the Jessami police were kept at the nearby BSF camp.

The police personnel could not do anything when their Nagaland counterparts incursed into Manipur's territory.The villagers lamented that the state police personnel posted at Jessami were incapable of protecting the villagers or saying anything against the atrocities committed against the Jessami villagers by the NAP personnel.

The villagers earnestly appealed to the authority concerned to strengthen the police force at Jessami and upgrade the SDC to SDO.

Evidently, there had been many instances of hostility between Manipur and Nagaland villagers during the last 27 years.

The villagers demanded the authority to cause the withdrawal of the NAP post which has been set up about five or six months back.

The villagers disappointingly asked whether there were no state security personnel to protect the border of Manipur.

They urged the government to immediately post adequate security personnel to secure and guard the state's border.

They expressed grief that no help has been coming from the government in the event of any dispute between Nagaland and Manipur.

They also pointed out that even the DC concerned of Nagaland had come to the aid of his state's villagers during such crisis.

Expressing how long the state borders could be guarded or kept watch by the villagers alone, they also conveyed their anguish and desperation that they are toothless in front of the NAP personnel.