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Beneath The Calm Lies An Air Of Uneasy Restlessness, Foreboding Land Dispute Sparks Tension At Leimatak Area

Security personnel at the site of the clash yesterday where houses were dismantled. Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

IMPHAL, Mar 6: An uneasy calm prevailed at Leimatak area following a dispute over land ownership between neighboring villages.

It is said that after the Kuki-Naga clash in the early part of 1990, house building activities began anew at Charoi Khullen Part-II which was however, opposed by two adjacent villagers.

At least five houses of Charoi Khullen Part-II were reportedly dismantled last night and the situation would have gone out of hand had personnel of 32 Bn CRPF deployed for Loktak Project duty not intervened.

According to information received from the spot, Charoi Khullen, which is about 25 kilometers away from Ningthoukhong town in Bishnupur district, witnessed gradual resettlement by a particular tribal community since February 14 this year.

The original settlers had reportedly fled when the bloody Naga-Kuki clash broke out.

As the resettlement process was underway about 40 villagers from the nearby Selien and Kukimun villages invaded Charoi Khullen village and ravaged at least five houses at around 9.30 pm yesterday.

According to one Hempa Chiru, prior to the rampage by the neighboring villagers, two individuals showed up at Charoi Khullen warning the newly arrived settlers to leave the place as many others are getting to ready to swoop down on the place.

Moments after the two left without specifying the reason for asking the Charoi Khullen villagers to leave, several people showed up and began to dismantle the houses. It is also informed that while women and children already left the village before arrival of the raiders, five individuals who stayed behind were safely escorted upto Lamdan Khun by personnel of 32 Bn CRPF.

Charoi Khullen Part-II village chief Songomreng interacting with a group of media persons conveyed appreciation to 32 Bn CRPF Commandant JM Bhagat, who subsequently instructed his men to protect and help the villagers.

The village chief also recounted that Charoi Khullen Part-II had 17 households before the year 1987.

As the entire villagers left their homestead in the aftermath of the ethnic clash in 1990, the displaced families took refuge at Khunjao (Charoi Khullen).

Claiming that he continued to exercise his authority as the village chief even while at Khunjao, Songomreng described the perpetrators as strangers.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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