An Appeal From Tangkhul Community

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To,

The Hon'ble Chief Minister

Government of Manipur.

We extend our wholesome support in the nationwide effort against the CoVID 19 pandemic and pledge our unconditional cooperation in these most trying times. It is our pleasure to inform the Honourable Chief Minister that at our end, we are whole-heartedly and promptly complying to all the directives issued by the government and shall continue to do so. Our district has been exemplary in maintaining not only village level isolation but also proper social distancing even within the respective villages. The fact that we do not have a single suspect case till date reflects this discipline that we have collectively adhered to proper social distancing norms.

In this continued fear, we have abandoned even our respective livelihood practices to respect the State directives and isolate.  In such a panicky situation, we would like to request the State not to create more confusions and commotions in our midst. The trail of vehicles coming into our respective village jurisdictions defeat the lockdown norms where even CrPc 144 is invoked and creates anxiety among the people.  We request the State to focus all its energy and resources on combating the pandemic as much as we are asked to cease all other activities and stay home. We are aware that besides the two confirmed case(s), there are at least 16 suspect cases which if confirmed, will mean hundreds of asymptomatic people.  In such a dreaded situation it cannot be a one-way fight to bar this pandemic from our vicinity and we do not want the government to be responsible for spreading it to us either, by defiling the order of complete lockdown.

The incident that happened yesterday April 7, 2020 in the district is unfortunate and could have been averted if the State Government   was sincere about ushering lasting peace in the area. Following the submission by Sampui Village Authority, the four Zonal Chairmen had also implored the state Government to settle the land rights or ownership issue and rectify the household list before initiating any rehabilitation efforts. We urged the state Government to recognise this urgency and help us avoid the repetition of violence among us.

The earlier unfortunate incident that happened in Kamjong and Chassad on the 15th and 16th of March was a result of a long-vexed land dispute between Sampui and Chassad village. We trust the ongoing government led investigation to establish the truth behind the burning of houses and properties on 15th and 16th March, both by the villagers of Chassad and Kamjong. We also appreciate all the concerted efforts on all fronts to restore normalcy in the area.

We envision an enduring healthy peace to re-establish the bonding, trust and comfort among the villagers/communities living together in the area. In this regard we urged the government to abstain from any forceful action that can trigger the already fragile and vulnerable emotions of the people on both sides.

We urged the State Government to recognise the imperative need to settle land ownership for long term peaceful co-existence. Land is not merely a property that can be compensated or exchanged in monetary value for the Nagas. For us, it is a sacred relationship and ownership which we have safeguarded through generations. Such unique ownership has marked our identity as a whole corresponding to the unfragmented and undisturbed territory which we still own at present.

We also urged the government to refer this special case to the Hill Area Committee since the subject falls under its mandate and guide the process towards an amicable settlement between the Chassad and Sampui village.

We hope the State Government will seriously consider our collective appeal and immediately refrain from any action that can contradict a long-term peaceful co-existence in the area.

 

Concerned Citizens of Ukhrul District.